This morning, I woke to a house that was chilled despite the previous evening's fire. To a yard that glittered and sparkled. To green onions on the porch that yesterday had stood tall and proud, and today were bent over, their internal strength broken by the cold. The parsley on the upstairs porch was in better shape, but I'll harvest it today anyway. I'll bring in the branches of green tomatoes and fry them in cornmeal and salt and pepper, each crunchy bite will recall the sweltering Alabama okra summers of my childhood.
The frost is an invitation for me to dive in, into art and hearth, feeding the heart fires and the hearthfires that keep me, and those I love, warm through the coming cold.
But first, the frost is a clarion call to get out into the woods, birch and muskeg both, and onto hands and knees, face close to the freezing earth and chilled fingertips plucking at deep red berries. Lingonberries are sweetest, and their flavor the most rich, after the first hard frost. And there's nothing like a pan of crimson tart sweet berry sauce while snow flies and air cracks with cold in the depths of January.