Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The promise of kale

Yesterday afternoon, I stood looking out the window, thinking about winter. Oh sure, I thought, it's all fun and games now. There's Christmas to look forward to, and the powdery thrill of the season's first snowfall. There's scarf weather and soup weather and tea drinking weather, and for right now it's still sort of novel.

And that novelty, my friend, will end. It always does, in the northern climes, where winter lasts approximately three months longer than you want it to. It always gets old, at some point. Maybe, I stood thinking, maybe if I just prepare for it, mentally, it won't be so bad?

I'm twenty six. I know what to expect. Icicles, cold toes, car scrapers. Really cold toes. The absence of green and growing things for a barren gray eternity. The more I thought about it, the more getting tired of winter seemed like a certainty.

And then I saw the kale.

Bright green leaves, craggy and magnificent, defiantly proud and tall in the face of frost. The tomatoes, the carrots, the green beans have all since chickened out and withered down to their roots. The tree leaves have all fainted with fright and dropped. Even the lawn is starting to show signs of surrender. And through it all, the kale doesn't flinch.

While I'm not about to root myself in the ground and bear winter with the stoic calm of a cruciferous vegetable, I think the kale just might help me get through it. It's still richly green-- that alone might be enough. It's the promise that the ground will thaw, the geese will return, and in April I'll be back out there with my rustling seed packets and my hoe.

Cross my heart, says the kale. Winter will be long and cold. But Spring will come again.


Jen said...

I have never had kale. But I particularly loved your last sentences. It is funny how it starts out novel and ends up not.

Julia (Color Me Green) said...

yes...winter seems all fun and games now but oh how i remember the agony of winter never seeming to end even into last spring

Kristina said...

Jen-- you should try it. It's looooaaaded with vitamins and delicious in soup.

Julia-- spoken as someone practiced in the agony of winter. You must be from someplace cold. :)

Julia (Color Me Green) said...

not as cold as your neck of the woods, but i've lived my whole life in they nyc/hudson valley area. it's cold enough. i've pretty much vowed to never live anywhere colder than my current climate.

Earth Girl Knits (Emily) said...

love love love this post! mmmm kale. haven't had any for a month now. :(

Becky said...

Kristina, you have such a way with words!!

I know it can be a pain where you live but I'd love some winter here in central NC. I grew up in the NC foothills and have lots of wonderful coats that I never get to wear and Snow people in my head that never get built. :(

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