Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Woods in Deep December

There is a hushed silence to the woods today. Snow is beckoning. You can always tell when it will arrive just by the lack of sounds. It is almost eerie that it has become so quiet. Tiny birds flutter to the feeders, anxiously gathering seeds and chattering among themselves. Squirrels scamper about nervously. The sky is steel gray, the air moist.

I love walking the woods during a snowstorm. All is white and silent, except for the hissing of the snow. One year, I ventured out in a blizzard and found far back in the woods, the white deer huddled down in the snow, nearly invisible to the human eye. They did not concern themselves with me, but rather, rested in silence. I like walking alone then, not caring to talk, just taking in all the beauty around me: the way the snow falls in a slant towards the ground, the hissing sound it makes as it falls, the embrace of the bitter cold, the sight of a blood red cardinal resting on a snow covered tree branch. All is perfect in this whited-out world.

Even more beautiful in the woods, but more trecherous, is the ice storm. The woods become a sparkling shrine of diamond-like wonder. Trees tinkle like prisms on a chandelier. I often wonder what it would be like to live like Thoreau - deliberately - Isolation never seemed to bother him much, he was content with his own company. I think that is what most people fear the most, being alone. I am comfortable with my own company - I can easily entertain myself.

Long winter nights bring the company of books - nothing beats huddling up with a cozy mystery or an old favorite. I am never at a loss for something to read. I have my bookstore inventory in my home - actually my home is filled with books, in boxes, on shelves, stacked on the floor next to the bed - any nook and cranny where a book will fit will do.

I love being a bookseller as well as a book reviewer. It makes me pleased to know that I have reunited someone with a favorite book from their past. The hard part of being a bookseller is deciding what you will sell and what you will keep - I do covet my books - I love the hunt for them also. I never pay much for the books that I sell. Thrift shops and yard sales, Goodwill stores and curb-side finds. Books are everywhere! Hummm, my best find was a book, The Memoirs of Harry Truman - bought at a thrift shop for twenty cents that I sold on Ebay for over $350 - now that is a profit. Right now on Ebay there is an L.M. Montgomery 1st edition of Anne of Green Gables that is up to $14,000 - oh, how I wish I would find that book (although I would never have the heart to sell it!)

As a child I became enarmoured with books - I loved when the "Book Mobile" made its way to our school. I devoured the Weekly Reader and spent my allowance on books & comic books - anyone remember the blonde girl named "Bunny" and her comic books? Somewhere along the line I graduated to magazines. My private collection of childhood books is still missing one book in particular I remember, "Magic Elizabeth" about a little girl and her doll in an old house.

One winter, I read the entire series of Anne of Green Gables - I was totally in love with those books - I was an adult who had never read them as a child. The world of Anne Shirley is one never to be forgotten. The charming style of L.M. Montgomery is never to be equaled. "September slipped by into the gold and crimson graciousness of October" you didn't only read her words, you saw them, felt them - lived them.

Yes, winter is the time for books, and a nice mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream........

No comments: