A mid-winter etched with anticipation

For a few brief days we ‘cleared the decks’ of the holiday storm snow. Enough time to pick up the branches that came down in the ‘bomb cyclone’ but now we have 8 fresh inches of fluff. And the thaw is over.

In New England, “the January thaw” is as common as “Indian Summer” and (of course) has its own rules, though NOAA says the temperature rise above freezing is only “popularly associated with January.” Like Ground Hog Day, due in a couple of weeks, the thaw is the stuff of folklore, layered on habituation and hope.

Spring will come on March 20, roughly six weeks after February 2nd no matter what the groundhog or the shadows predict. Did you know there’s an old feast, dating back to the pre-Christian Romans and then adopted by the church, on February 2nd, known as Candlemas when the candles were blessed? The day was built upon the ancient festival of Imbolc, It also celebrates fires lit against mid-winter darkness. And there’s a rhyme and familiar imagery to go with it: If Candlemas Day be fair and bright/Winter will have another fight./If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,/Winter will not come again.

But we diverge from the talk of briefly cleared ground that showed up needs for work on the gardens and our trees here at Spruce Point Inn []. February 2nd also means it’s 15 weeks til opening day here at the resort and the winter tends to focus our attention on the checklist before us. Much like the tree branches silhouetted against cleared fields that Jamie Walter photographs (shared recently by Yankee Magazine), our checklists, held up in our minds against guestrooms, restaurants and banquet spaces, etch our ‘to do’ list on our anticipation for when those spaces fill again with light and laughter. (According to WeddingWire, these months are ‘prime proposal season,’ too and we have many weddings already on the books to look forward to!) Maybe that lacy white should put us in mind of brides.

So many plans sketched onto the sunny future! Good things the days are getting longer to fit everything in.