Looking out over the snow-filled fields at first light, on this cold January morning, I shiver at the sight of gray skies and the sounds of howling winds that have ushered in another winter on the farm. The horses are blanketed, the heater is plugged into the water trough, and my mind wanders back to warm memories of long-ago Januarys.
Over the forty-plus years, my family has lived here, I’ve watched this landscape change and mature. We often raised a menagerie of crops and animals, but today our fields grow only alfalfa.
In the early years here, Roy and I also raised three sons. I’ve proudly, anxiously watched these boys mature into the outstanding men they are today. Along the way, they have provided much joy, hilarious antics, and overflowing love to this mother’s heart.
I remember the annual crop of snowmen, snow dogs, snow pigs, and massive snow forts that graced our yard for many Januarys. The boys loved playing outside, all the time, in all weather, as soon as they finished their farm chores.
Perhaps my favorite winter memories involve sledding excursions with my Momma. As everyone bundled up for a winter trek, she made certain mittens, hats, boots, and scarves were all in place before we proceeded to the highest hill on the farm. Often single file, like ducklings following their mama. Grandma, aka Nana Price, always pretended to hesitate at the top of the hill, requiring encouragement from her brave and adventurous grandsons. Nana plopped down on the sled with the agility of a young girl. Off they careened, scarves, and sounds of glee blowing in the wind! That city girl always seemed surprised when the sled hit a frozen “cow pie,” causing the sled to tip over and everyone rolled out laughing. By the time the sledding adventures ended, the sledders were nearly as snow-covered as the snowmen in our yard.
I’ve learned the month of January is named after the god Janus, the ancient Roman god of gates and doors, whose two heads regard the past and look at the future simultaneously. I think I need to do the same. I can cherish the memories while looking forward to the future 2022 holds with the same excitement my sons displayed on sledding afternoons.
To quote Jonathan Huie, “Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings.”
I glance once more out the window, smile, then head to my computer. I have a terrific new project to begin!