WINTER: MY SECRET
by Christina Rossetti
I tell my secret? No indeed, not I:
Perhaps some day, who knows?
But not today; it froze, and blows, and snows,
And you’re too curious: fie!
You want to hear it? well:
Only, my secret’s mine, and I won’t tell.
Or, after all, perhaps there’s none:
Suppose there is no secret after all,
But only just my fun.
Today’s a nipping day, a biting day;
In which one wants a shawl,
A veil, a cloak, and other wraps:
I cannot ope to every one who taps,
And let the draughts come whistling thro’ my hall;
Come bounding and surrounding me,
Come buffeting, astounding me,
Nipping and clipping thro’ my wraps and all.
I wear my mask for warmth: who ever shows
His nose to Russian snows
To be pecked at by every wind that blows?
You would not peck? I thank you for good will,
Believe, but leave that truth untested still.
Spring’s an expansive time: yet I don’t trust
March with its peck of dust,
Nor April with its rainbow-crowned brief showers,
Nor even May, whose flowers
One frost may wither thro’ the sunless hours.
Perhaps some languid summer day,
When drowsy birds sing less and less,
And golden fruit is ripening to excess,
If there’s not too much sun nor too much cloud,
And the warm wind is neither still nor loud,
Perhaps my secret I may say,
Or you may guess.
God is in nature, bold and brutal, gentle and loving, heartstoppingly magnificent and relentlessly harsh. While each of the four seasons offers a singular beauty and unique set of challenges, winter is my favorite. Probably because I grew up in an area of the country where the only way to tell it was winter was to check the calendar or confirm the daily high fell below 70°F.
I love clouds, and rain, and snow, and I enjoy reasonable cold. In other words, Southern New England is awesome, but I won’t be moving to the upper Midwest anytime soon.
So wave your California or Florida banner proudly. I revel that you live in a place that brings you such joy. But don’t expect me to envy your endless summer and your boundless sunshine. I would never trade the majesties of the seasons for an extra day at the beach.
Due to a difficult week and the concomitant need to exploit what makes me smile, I’m attaching a few photos of my winter.
Apologies in advance to all who live in regions suffering interminable, bone-chilling cold (Michael Di Gesu, this means you). Please, look away.