I love the Eastern Shore winters. In the summer, the pace here is fast with the activities of the waterman, the seafood processors, the fisherman, the tourists, the boaters, and the festivals. But in the winter, the landscape sleeps, much of the activity quieted down, resting, waiting.
The photos in this post are of scenes after a winter storm here in Somerset County, Maryland. It's generally a temperate winter climate, but that rare snow in the Chesapeake landscape is memorable if not enchanting.
It is in the winter landscape that details emerge and appear more prominent. The lone blue heron surveying the marsh, the hum of a workboat's motor in the distance, the stray feral cat, the elderly man spinning yarns in a local store, even the sound of the tide lapping up onto the shore – all of these are more pronounced in the uncluttered winter landscape, as if all the colors were brighter.
As the winter solstice passes, we're reminded that the darkness is ebbing as more light inches into each new day. There is more being revealed. Details are magnified.
And at Christmas everything seems magnified – both good and bad. Love, loneliness, wealth, poverty, health, sickness, togetherness, separation ... everything weighs twice as much at Christmastime.
Here’s hoping your burdens are light and your blessings abundant … but if you are feeling down, know that we pray for you … and that we trust … no - we know, that strain of hardship will lessen for you soon.
Love lies close at Christmas, nestled in invisible tabernacles filled by those gone before us, those that know us now, and those we’ve yet to meet. And from those tabernacles, we can draw strength. Even the love of a stranger can be found if we but look around us.
And love heals the hurt, eases the suffering, fills the loneliness and can make any burden lighter.