“Ring out the old, ring in the new, ring, happy bells, across the snow.”–Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Winter settles in.
The prairie is glazed with ice.
And more ice.
Sleet adds to the magic.
Storm-melt freezes in mid-drip.
Powder sugars the grasses. Everything is dusted and sprayed and sprinkled with snow.
Coyotes print their whereabouts on the paths.
Plants are pared to their essence.
Grasses are stripped to ribbons.
Switchgrass is sparkling and spare.
The old is gone.
Something new is on the way.
There is beauty in the singular….
Glory in the aggregate.
January is a time to reflect.
A time to divest ourselves of non-essentials.
A time to take stock of what is most important.
A season to appreciate the beauty…
…and the diversity of the natural world; evident even in the deepest winter.
With a new year…
…comes the opportunity to make choices about who we are.
The writer Kahlil Gibran said, “Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”
And, as another philosopher, Christopher Robin, once said (in the cinematic version of Winnie the Pooh), “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
Hello, 2021! Let’s make it a good year.
The opening quote is by Victorian poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1850-1892). Tennyson likely wrote to distract himself from the tragedies of his life: his eleven siblings suffered from addiction, severe mental illness, and an unhappy home life. Read more about his life and poetry here; or listen to a delightful reading of Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott from a scene with Megan Follows in the 1985 mini-series “Anne of Green Gables.” No matter what your age, check out this Emmy Award winning classic mini-series produced in Canada.
Join Cindy in 2021 for an online class! See http://www.cindycrosby.com for a complete list of virtual offerings. All classes and programs with Cindy this winter and spring are offered online only. Join me from your computer anywhere in the world.
Begins Next Week! January 14-February 4 (Four Thursdays) 6:30-8:30 pm CST Nature Writing II Online. Deepen your connection to nature and your writing skills in this intermediate online workshop from The Morton Arboretum. This interactive class is the next step for those who’ve completed the Nature Writing Workshop (N095), or for those with some foundational writing experience looking to further their expertise within a supportive community of fellow nature writers. Over the course of four live, online sessions, your instructor will present readings, lessons, writing assignments, and sharing opportunities. You’ll have the chance to hear a variety of voices, styles, and techniques as you continue to develop your own unique style. Work on assignments between classes and share your work with classmates for constructive critiques that will strengthen your skill as a writer. Ask your questions, take risks, and explore in this fun and supportive, small-group environment. Register here.
February 24, 7-8:30 CST: The Prairie in Art and Literature Online. The tallgrass prairie is usually thought of for its diverse community of plants, animals, and insects. Yet, it is also an inspiration for a creative community! In this interactive online talk, natural history author and prairie steward Cindy Crosby will explore historical and contemporary writers and artists, musicians, and other creatives working in the prairie genre: from Neil Young to Willa Cather to graphic comic artists , quilters, and jewelers expressing the prairie through their work. See the prairie in a new light! Come away inspired to appreciate and express your love of the tallgrass as you enjoy learning about this prairie “community.” Offered by The Morton Arboretum: Register here.
Cindy: Such a beautiful post! I loved the photos and the simplicity……I felt like a took a deep breath and relaxed for a moment. Thank you!
Lynnette Clemens Old Greenwich, CT Instagram: Shore_CT Practice the 4 W’s: Wear a face mask Watch your distance Wash your hands Wipe down surfaces If you show any symptoms, please get tested.
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Thank you, Lynnette — I hope that calm stays with you through the week. So grateful that you read the blog and took a moment to write me such a kind note. Take care, and stay well.
A lovely way to begin the new year. Thank you!
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Thank you, Paula — stay well, and thank you for your note.
Cindy, I really needed to see this after the traumatic events of yesterday. Thank you for helping get me centered again.