In The Bleak Mid-Winter

snow

In the bleak midwinter frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone. Snow had fallen snow on snow, snow on snow. In the middle of winter one comes to expect snow and in certain places plenty of it. Snow is beautiful. It carpets any scene, any view and transforms it into an eye-catching and attractive picture. Few people can resist looking out over a snow-covered landscape and be spellbound by it. The thick, white blanket that conceals all the blemishes and carbuncles that are ordinarily visible. A scrap yard which is full of rusting motor vehicles, broken washing machines and discarded fridges becomes an undulating cloak of unbroken snow. Those rough edges become smoothed. The stained soil is hidden beneath the sparkling coat. The world soon becomes a more attractive and an almost magical place.

As the first snowflakes begin to fall, that excitement still rises within most people. They are transported to their childhood and remember the anticipation of the snowfall. It might mean a snow day and freedom from school. It certainly meant snowball fights, sledging and building snow men. An infrequent opportunity to engage in something different in this marvellous winter wonderland. It also evokes such keen images of Christmas, that most celebrated of seasons and therefore the link between snow and wonderful sensations and events is incredibly strong.Even the solitary snow flake is a thing of wonder. Perfect crystalline formations, each different, delicate and seductive. They mesh together as the isolated snowflakes become a dusting and as more snow falls, the temperature lowered, the dusting becomes a layer and then a carpet which grows thicker and deeper. The world slows down to embrace this beauty. Everything looks clean, smoothed and beautiful. Noise becomes muffled and invariably silence reigns as if sound has agreed to be muted in silent reverence of the visual spectacular that is created by a snowfall.

When the snow first comes it is mesmerising, enchanting and makes everything seem wonderful. Of course being trapped beneath this frozen water is a cold and unpleasant experience. Over time it compacts and ices over, proving of little use for snowballs. Gone is the gentle fluffiness to be replaced by a hard-edged and potentially injurious surface that cuts if gathered into an  ice ball. The thick covering of snow brings chaos to transport, halting trains and blocking roads. Walking becomes hazardous and the very young and very old find themselves confined to their homes. The ice that gathers on power lines drags them down and cuts people off. This once beautiful weather phenomenon becomes costly and inconvenient. Plans are cancelled, events postponed and even the simplest of tasks become laborious. Even a thawing brings with it that damp, cold slush that chills and wets, increasing the risk of a traffic accident or slipping over. The once white paradise becomes browned slush and sharp ice, neither being appealing. It freezes as the temperature drops again but has none of the beauty that preceded it. As the days become weeks this seemingly unending cold front with its legacy of ice and snow grows all the more unwelcome, yet its grip shows no sign of loosening, generating more inconvenience and misery for those who are isolated by it or consigned to having to deal with it. That once white magical landscape has soon transformed into something frightful and difficult. How easily the world changes from such mesmerising beauty into cold, hurtful bleakness.

Strangely familiar don’t you think?

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86 thoughts on “In The Bleak Mid-Winter”

  1. I’m super fair too narc angel . Like milk head to toe! So jealous of people who can tan like that. I never could. I don’t like blond blue eyed men. I am drawn only to talk dark and handsome. I love dark eyes and olive complexion.

  2. HG
    A couple of thoughts:
    #1 you didn’t take your ‘wax hand’ with you there, wherever you are, in your shorts-wearing photo, it would melt.
    #2 re: your comments about Melania Trump. In one post you said she is soon to be your friend, and in another post, barely 24hrs later you said that she is a close personal friend.

    Now I have experienced first hand the N’s relationship fast-track, but 24hrs? This is a new record.
    Did one of your minions hit the ship’s control to “Ludicrous speed!*”?

    (*reference to ‘Space Balls’ Mel Brooks movie)

    1. Caroline R,

      #1 Wax Hand! I hadn’t thought of that! LOL!

      I just thought nice smooth hands, no physical labor. Good manicure. But those second joints may trouble him later. He could use some collagen peptides daily to ensure supple joints, plus it keeps your skin looking and feeling younger than your actual age.

      Than I thought my N never listened when I gave him health advice, and HG doesn’t need any advice that would enhance his natural attractiveness. 😉

      But since I’m not the only one judging hands, I thought I’d just share that with y’all.

      Now I’m off to find where he mentions Melania.

      Perse

      1. Perse
        Ha ha!
        HG commented that it was a wax hand, you’ll come across that somewhere. There’s so much to take in on these threads. K will never be able to retire.

  3. Windstorm,

    Snow days = little surprise gifts from God…yes, I echo that sentiment.

    Re: car crash tragedy – sad but true that that is what it sometimes takes to change policy.

    Hope your snowstorm *is* pretty!

    I think this is the prettiest time of the year and sometimes take a self-imposed snow day – just for me, the chickadees, and a walk in the woods.

      1. MB
        Maybe he’s been BSing us all along about being blonde and blue eyed , just to throw us off track…Most natural blondies burn pretty easily

      2. One can tan through sunscreen.

        Then there are those blondes and redheads that just burn and freckle with no tanning. (Bless their hearts!)

        HG is obviously in the former category.

      3. The tan legs may have gotten a little assistance from a filter on his phone to add “warmth”. I’m Irish and very fair. In summer I will touch up a picture to try to add a tad of color… lol
        He’s done a lot of traveling though recently and if he’s been in the sun a lot, he could very well be this tan even if he’s fair.

      4. Maybe he’s on the Jersey Shore. All I know is I’m jealous because I can’t get 3 freckles to join together for a little color. I’m as white as the underside of a carp’s belly.
        #shieldyoureyes

      5. Haha NA! It takes a lot of effort for me to color too. On the plus side, we don’t have leathery, scaly skin from overtanning, so there’s that…
        HG on the Jersey Shore? There’d be snow alongside that lounge chair. Lol

      6. My skin will tan very dark. I was a little gingerbread girl growing up outside in the country. I only get a little color now though. It’s a stigma, almost like people that smoke. You get the “don’t you know that’s bad for you.” “Don’t you know that ages you.” Then I feel ashamed and bad. It’s best if I just fit in.

      7. MB
        Get your brown on. When someone tells you it ages you, look them right in the eye and say: Oh. Is that what happened to you?

      8. HG,

        I love all this talk about your picture. We are analyzing it in detail as much as the eye can see lol! I am making further inferences based on your left leg over right! You seem so relaxed based on your reclining style. How can you relax knowing you have just come back from gaining some negative fuel from someone, you big meanie!! Oh I know, you are morally bereft. Sad. Anyways, I like your fashion sense. Love the shorts!

      9. 😃 “I’m as white as the underside of a carp’s belly.” – NarcAngel.
        That was funny!
        Sadly, I can relate.

        I can somewhat tan elsewhere, but my legs simply will never get as dark as HG’s. (Not without self-tanner.) So I see why Clarece was inclined to make the “filter” remark.

        That’s an impressive tan for a cottontop. But again, HG says that he can BE anything he wants. Is it wrong that my eyes were elated that he chose to have nice legs?

  4. HG
    This piece has a strangely hypnotic appeal to it.
    Very well done.

    I was reminded of Narnia and Queen Jadis ( the public facade) who was a witch (the ugly truth) and total N control freak. When Aslan approaches, the snow and ice thaw, and she has to retreat too. CS Lewis must have met a few Ns in his life to depict the struggle between death and life, evil and good in such a nuanced way for children to grasp and love. This piece is of that calibre. Mesmerising.

  5. Chills! Literally. Listened twice already. It’s the closest I can get to his cooing. Ha ha

    I agree with NA. Beautiful. Did you listen sis?

    1. MB
      I read the articles when posted and listen when I have time to sit and relax uninterrupted, which is not as often. I do enjoy his voice and find it relaxing. I would take him reading to me over sex any day.

  6. HG
    Beautiful to describe this seems insufficient. Cognitively lyrical? (jk). This is why we can be charmed by your kind. You can make us see the beauty in what is often taken for granted. In this case it’s winter, but usually it’s ourselves.

    1. NA, that’s a huge reason why I got hooked on HG’s work. It’s not the typical boring textbook way of explaining stuff. He is so talented that he uses different ways of teaching whether it be in a form of a poem or a story or metaphors. And there’s a lot of humor too! So entertaining but also very full of substance and information that you will never find elsewhere. I have been reading a book about codependency and I’m having a hard time getting through it because it’s so boring!

      1. Yes I have MB. I finished it really fast! This is my second codependent book. If I will base it in Chained, I’m not a codependent. But Windstorm also gave me a good answer earlier so I think I don’t have to finish this book. I’ll just return it to Kindle now. Thank you MB!

      2. Absolutely!! HG makes it all so riveting, cannot stop reading. That other fellow, Vaknin seems so dry.

        HG would make an excellent professor or teacher, such is his talent to keep his audience engrossed while still being very informative.

  7. Both very poetic and very apt comparison. Particularly appropriate here today because we have a snow day. ❄️

    1. Windstorm, we have been having snow events since earlier November but I love the snow, and the effect of it, as described in this line of HG’s:
      ” silence reigns as if sound has agreed to be muted in silent reverence…”

      1. MB,

        Either one is good…but, yeah, Canada.

        Or parts of it, anyway…the winter arrived here early – even for the area that I’m in. But it is welcome here because there are many local winter outdoor enthusiasts – in fact the winter tourist season is as busy – or busier – than the summer season. People don’t grumble about the snow; they embrace it – unlike in slightly warmer, more populated areas. The only thing I don’t like about winter is damp cold and slush – dry cold and squeaky, sparkly snow is just fine in my book.

      2. WC, I hate hate hate the snow and cold weather and short winter days! Good thing I wasn’t born Canadian. I’m pretty sure I should have been born closer to the equator ha ha. Enjoy the squeaky snow and please be careful!

      3. Windstorm – pretty sure we’ll have some snow to spare this year if you’re looking for more!
        In the woods, on unbroken trails, it is more than knee deep.

      4. WhoCares
        Ha, ha! Our “ snow” yesterday that shut down my school system was less than an inch. But it was falling hard when the school busses would have been out. Since we only get a few inches a year, poor rural counties have no snow plows or brine trucks. We’ve only had knee deep snow twice in my life and it shut the entire county down for over a week. The nearest wealthy county had to share their 6 snow plows with several poorer counties around and it was a week before it was our turn. ❄️❄️❄️

      5. WS, they are calling for anywhere from an inch to two feet here Sunday/Monday. That’s how accurate the forecast is. 😂. Either way, all the milk and bread is gone from store shelves already!

      6. MB
        I have a Walmart pickup scheduled this afternoon in the nearest city that has one. I think it’s still early enough. Tomorrow and Saturday will see the empty shelves. We’re supposed to get some kind of winter storm Sunday as well. Hope it’s pretty! I have no where to go and can sit and enjoy it.

      7. Ooooh, good idea WS! I haven’t tried the Walmart pick up service, but I hear it’s da bomb. Better get off the blog and order me some bread and milk! Ha ha

      8. MB
        I’m totally in love with Walmart pickup! Since it takes me two hours just to drive back and forth from home, it’s great to not have to spend another hour or hour and a half in the store!

      9. Omg Windstorm – I have to laugh at your ‘snow day’ description… I know; certain areas don’t have the resources and infrastructure to deal much snow…it’s just that I shake my head because here, even if the snow plows broke down or – whatever – got sucked into outer space by aliens, it wouldn’t stop people for long. Many here have snowplow attachments on their pick-ups or ATV…or would just ‘hitch’ a ride with a friend who has a snowmobile…people would pull together, help each other and NOT wait for ‘infrastructure’ to bail them out.

        I fondly remember the “snow days” of yore – lol. In my experience with the educational systems (work and study) here even if the school buses are cancelled the schools stay open and teachers are expected to go …if weather conditions make travel treacherous they are asked to go to the closest school to them and ‘help out.’
        When I worked at a post-secondary institution (for nearly a decade) we had one…maybe two snow days…in the beginning and then they decided to follow the elementary school system so the university would only shut down if the elementary schools were closed. And employees would be told that if they deemed it was ‘too dangerous’ to travel to work they could opt to stay at home – without pay.
        Bye-bye ‘snow days’!
        I actually feel for the teachers because they deserve a snow day every now and again…

      10. WhoCares
        Snow days at school were always my very favorite thing! They are like little surprise gifts from God! Even the nearest university calls classes for snow (takes about 4 inches). Everyone has such far commutes to school here. When the university last tried changing its policy and staying open, a student died in a car crash trying to drive in to school from a nearby county.

        But snow here is enough of an anomaly we can get by shutting down. We have some years with no snow at all and not usually more than a handful of snows a year.

      11. WhoCares
        Thought of a story on the way in to school that might amuse you. The first big snow after my daughter moved to Kansas, she texted me all excited. “Mom! You’ll never guess what our neighbor has! It’s like a lawnmower but you run it over snow and it picks the snow up and throws it off to the side. It’s like a snow-thrower!”

      12. Windstorm
        Hahaha. Can only imagine her reaction to driving around on a snowmobile.

      13. NarcAngel
        I went on a trip to the upper peninsula of Michigan a couple years ago with my narc witch friend. I stopped the car, got out and took a picture of a “caution snowmobile” sign. Blew my mind that such a thing both existed and was needed! We just have them for deer and elk.

      14. Actually, MB, I’m not that far north…
        But I used to live very close to Toronto…so it *feels* much further north – and almost like living in an entirely different culture…

      15. WC, my Narc lives in GTA. When I express that I want to visit him and see the big city, he says he’ll just meet me to save me the hassle of crossing the border. (I have a passport, money to visit, and no criminal record so I think I’m good but thank you for the concern.) when that doesn’t work to deter me, it’s “a small town girl like me would be scared in the big city.”Compartmentalize much? So far, just a bunch of future faking. Haven’t laid eyes on the dude in 5 years. Not even a picture.

        Everything HG teaches is truth! What used to baffle me now amuses me 🙂

      16. Ha ha. I was trying to use the Canadian lingo to impress WC and NA. You know, the stealing of traits as my own. Like I’m one of the cool kids and shit. Believe me, I know ALL about Grand Theft Auto!

      17. MB
        GTA (Greater Toronto Area) covers a lot of ground, but there is a zoo there yes.

      18. NA, so you think he doesn’t want me to find out he lives in the zoo? Allegedly, he works in Toronto and lives in one of the suburbs. I have some addresses if you want to go on a fact finding expedition with me Sis. (I’m only kidding.)

        I am satisfied and at peace with what I’ve learned from HG. He brought me down from the clouds and now that I know the truth, I realize that the Universe protected me by not answering my prayers. Believe me, I begged and I pleaded and yet I was shielded and protected. I don’t know why when so many have suffered horribly. Maybe it is so I could help spread the truth. I know it sounds cliche, but I really do believe HG was heaven sent to save me and those that will come after me.

      19. Windstorm
        I might have told this before. I went years ago and there was a Gorilla exhibit. I was in awe (favourite animal in the wild). He sat sideways to the glass all casual chewing on a reed of some sort. After a large crowd gathered around staring he suddenly banged on the glass HARD with his fist. People ran and jumped screaming. Kids crying. I loved it. I swear I saw him smile.

      20. MB,

        If you really want to visit TO – you should do it, for your own sake – nevermind your narc’s excuses.

        My narc used to say he’d take me to Europe…glad he never followed through on that…I’d have been so screwed. And further isolated; as he is from there and has family in his home country…I hope he takes his ass back where it came from.

        And I hope you get to visit Toronto some day.

      21. Thank you WC. Yes, I truly want to visit Toronto. You remember I’m the one that wants to do the Edge Walk at the CN Tower. I’ve never seen Niagara Falls so I want to do that too. I’ve heard it’s more beautiful from the Canadian side. There are lots and lots of things to do and see. I won’t visit in the winter though. This time of the year, it’s Florida or bust! 🌴

      22. MB – I sure do remember that conversation 🙂
        You should add Ripley’s Aquarium to your list; it is right beside the CN Tower – the aquarium is beautifully designed and so relaxing to walk through and view all the aquatic life (on a slow day.)

      23. MB, the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is beautiful, and when WC says that there is plenty else to do, that’s no exaggeration. To me, the area with additional activities has a Gatlinburg-like feel to it. Plenty of shops with the hustle and bustle of folks looking to have fun.

        And just for an excuse to bring up butterflies again, their conservatory is lovely… the flowers stunning… and the people… I found the Canadians to be incredibly friendly. But I’ve always had a soft spot for our northern neighbors.

        And I hear you, Windstorm, on the weather. The Canadians are better equipped at handling the winter snow. We had an ice storm in my area once that kept my county without power for 3 weeks.

        Anyway, sorry to intrude, but it’s hard not to appreciate the winter scenery after reading this article. HG really knows how to put ya in the mood.

      24. BKK – glad you chimed in! R
        Regarding the Canadian side of Niagara Falls – is definitely busy and an eyefull – the Falls are most certainly magical – especially when illuminated by multi-coloured lights. The last time I went to Niagara Falls was with my narc, years ago, for New Year’s eve – which was extra sparkly and festive – all lit up with everyone in the streets in a party mood.

        I’ve not been to the conservatory but I hear it’s lovely…

      25. BurntKrispyKeen
        Same here. We had an ice storm once where my power was out for 23 days. If you’d asked me before if I could go three weeks with no electricity, I’d have said no. Amazing what you can do when you have no choice.

      26. Thank you for that BKK. I’m glad you chimes in. There’s no such thing as intruding! The more the merrier.

      27. Ahh, WhoCares… that had to be quite the romantic backdrop for you and your fellow… the one with the beautiful hands, I assume?

        Windstorm, I have a sneaky suspicion that you and I live nearby. Perhaps not a stone’s throw, but close? In my county, some areas did not get electricity for longer… but my ENTIRE county was out of electricity for three full weeks. Twenty-three days, huh? Hmmm.

        I am now never without a generator! At the time, I had to head pretty far south just to find one, so I bought two. The smaller camping model was the one I used to run the washer and allow my son to get in a bit of TV time. It was not chained down like the other and was quickly stolen. The thing is… had anyone in the community asked to use it, I would have gladly brought it to them. (I did feel guilty having two.) I remember telling the deputy how sad it felt to realize that someone would come into my yard while we were sleeping and take something, especially when asking was all that was needed. I’d been happy to help. We were all in a mess, but like you said, we made it through… more easily than we would have thought. I actually found it to be a bit fun.

        Windstorm, may I ask if in the state you reside, do you live in the western region?

        I’m trying to stay incognito, although if anyone really knew me, they’d be able to put together some identifying pieces from some of my posts. I haven’t been able to read all of yours, but I feel a connection. I have a strong suspicion that we’re from “the same neck of the woods.”

        NA, thank you for your comment. While I much enjoy your wit… your sense of humor that I grew up with, it’s obvious to me that you are a sweet, caring and passionate woman. Passionate for many reasons, but your dedication here is noticable. As far as our shared sense of humor… well, we both live in what can be considered as “melting pot” regions, with our English, French, German…. well, all of Europe, Asia… the rest of the continents… they definitely influence our ways here. But I always believed that our cultures mainly get our sense of humor from the British. So whenever someone struggles to see through a dry, sarcastic attempt at wit, I always think, “Well, at least the Brits get us.” They have to; they started it. 😄

        Thanks to you all for keeping me entertained.

      28. BurntKrispyKeen
        I didn’t realize that you were a fellow Kentuckian. Odds would be very low that we reside in the same county, there being 120 of them. I definitely want to remain incognito or I would feel compelled to leave the blog for good and that would be very sad for me.

        That ice storm hit much of Kentucky hard, but my entire county was not out of power for three weeks – just my back end of beyond.

      29. BKK,

        ” Ahh, WhoCares… that had to be quite the romantic backdrop for you and your fellow… the one with the beautiful hands, I assume?”

        Yes, that would be correct – back in the golden period…not my preferred way to ring in the New Year; I usually like a somewhat quiet celebration… but some years I’ve been in the party mood. That year was such an example – and yes it was exciting, romantic and memorable.

      30. P.S. I meant to add… Thank you for your comment MB. You are as sweet as sugar.

      31. Well shoot far fuzzy… I was hoping we’d be neighbors Windstorm.
        Ah, yes… the many counties. I think we are fourth in line there, for having the most. It was only a problem for me in elementary school when I was trying to learn them all. Probably not much fun for our KSP, though. That’s a lot of courthouses!

        For some time, I was trying to be careful not to even reveal my continent, let alone state. But our American ways always seem to reveal itself. I suppose as time passes, I have started to feel safer. Still, I don’t want to reveal my identity for many reasons. Shame seems to be the most pressing.

        But yes… I love our state, from the east ro the west. And I’m always proud to see someone represent us in the way that you do… with kindness, intelligence and grace.

        I usually chuckle when our local news (tationed out of state) covers a KY story. Pretty sure they have a rule to intentionally choose a spectator who most represents our hillbilly ways. 😄 But that’s okay… I have share some of those traits; I can’t deny. I was conversing with a fellow a bit ago. He told me via text that he was drinking “apple pie.” Only in Kentucky could I have been fairly certain that he was referring to moonshine. It is what it is.

        What I love about our region, though, is our proximity to many larger cities. It is as if we can visit the hustle and bustle, then come back to God’s country. I assume that you live in a very rural area as to why you were without power for so long? My whole county is rural. I literally live in the middle of a cornfield. But I enjoy that my neighbors aren’t ten feet away. As much as I love interacting with people, I value privacy… have even been known to sun my buns in the backyard. I won’t even wear sunscreen, but I’m hidden by the trees. (Vitamin D is better made when the sun has a bigger target to hit. 😦 The rural life represents the freedom I love.)

        So I respect your privacy Windstorm. If we are ever meant to cross paths, it will happen. If you ever overhear an overly-sensitive empath, with a wide narcissistic streak, chatting away with a stranger…. come up and say “hi.” I’ll likely be wearing a hat, perhaps looking frazzled but always willing to converse with a kind soul. Let me know it’s you by uttering a Narcsite phrase… say unibrowed orphans or something. I’ll offer you a prompt lunch date and then we can really chat it up. 👭 (HG’s ears will need the sunscreen.)

        Blessings to you Windstorm…

      32. See. I did it again. It’s karma. I was talking about the discriminatory news being “stationed” out of state. Tationed reads like I’m missing my two front teeth.

        I am definitely meant to be punished here on earth. 😳

  8. Great writing even if it does refer to your cold, underlying darkness…this weather scenario is why I ditched WI!
    It’s beautiful for a moment and then the novelty quickly wears off.

  9. Pingback: In The Bleak Mid-Winter ⋆ NarcTopia | NarcTopia
  10. You need to make a series on television! The world needs your voice and insights! Thankyou for your truths, as they bring healing to our aftermath…..

  11. Thanks for the trigger, HG. I need to get out my headphones and listen again. I quite enjoy your narration of this.

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