Melville on Winter

Tending Fire


(to start of project)

“…I have a sort of sea-feeling here in the country, now that the ground is all covered with snow. I look out of my window in the morning when I rise as I would out of a port-hole of a ship in the Atlantic. My room seems a ship’s cabin; and at nights when I wake up and hear the wind shrieking, I almost fancy there is too much sail on the house, and I had better go on the roof and rig in the chimney.”

Herman Melville – in a letter, December 12, 1850


It snowed again last night, big wet flakes that clung to everything. Overnight, a breeze blew the trees bare along the ridge line, leaving the forest frosted thick in the lee up the hillsides, so the mountains are stark white, outlined in black. Really striking.

One of my daughters, at school out in the mountains to the west, sent me the quote above this morning.

I like it.

A lot.

(Thanks, Em.)

Our old farmhouse is not made for Winter. We spend long days next to the woodstove and go to bed early, just to stay warm, so the world already feels small. When the weather turns bad, it really can feel like a ship far out at sea. Snow plows don’t clear roads in the country, so isolation ripples outward, making that sea seem bigger. It is pretty, though. Terri’s homemade apple pies cheer things up considerably.










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