Living in a northern climate, complete with lots of snow and very cold weather, I think of winter in terms of what it lacks.  It lacks color; just before sunrise and just after sunset, the half light creates a black and white world–as though I’ve been transported into a 1940’s movie.  When the sun is up the color brown is added, with an occasional pine tree green, but every other color seems to have flown south with the migratory birds. 

Winter also lacks fragrance; no flowers, no freshly cut grass, no food sizzling on the grill down the street.  It is basically scentless, and my nose misses the variety.

And, for the most part, it lacks sound;  no crickets chirping, very few birds singing, no neighbor boys shooting baskets (the rubber ball bouncing off asphalt or concrete, tennis shoes sliding and pounding, exclamations of happiness or anger), and no sound of children at play. 

One of the first signs of spring for me is stepping out on my front steps in the evening and hearing the frogs croaking and chirping in the pond a few hundred yards away.  One night they’re silent, and the next–having awakened from their winter sleep–they have much to say. 

Though there’s still snow on the ground and fairly cold weather, my friend the Mourning Dove has returned–although I think he’s misnamed.  I would’ve called him the Calming Dove, or the Relaxation Dove.  He doesn’t sound sad to me, just mellow.  I welcome his song, and often whistle it along with him.

And I eagerly await color, fragrance, and summer sounds. 

Oh, and warmer temperatures.