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Poor Will's Almanack: January 3 - 9, 2022

Arrival of Autumn (My Flickr First Photo)
Bruce Denis
Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for second week of Deep Winter, the second week of the Tufted Titmouse Moon, the third week of the sun in Capricorn.

The most difficult thing for me in winter is to stay where I am and to keep from looking ahead into spring or looking south to the beaches of the Gulf.

It is hard to hold steady, to accept the bare tangle of branches, the soft secrecy of buds, the sleek cones of catkins that perfectly contain both birth and death.

It is hard to remain in place in the certainty of these things here and now: the cold river, the crisp wind, the gray, finite sky, the everlasting bouquets of spent flowers, the darkening hulls of black walnuts and Osage fruits, the settling leaves, the low sun.

Orion in the night, the mornings without birdsong, the falling seeds of the winterberry, the withering bittersweet and honeysuckle berries.

It's hard to remain in place: not seeing past the horizon, not finding God-to-come, free from the need for summer, self-sufficient, acknowledging that the center is right here where I am, here as well as somewhere else, right here in this tight and impeccable close of the year, as well as in the far green paradise of June.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of Deep Winter. In the meantime, our task may be simply to come to terms with winter, finding its meaning for each of us.

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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.