Saturday, January 31, 2009

King Winter

From the coldest caverns and the bleakest hills he has summoned them. They have journeyed from the twelfth month through the first and finally they are all assembled, ready to do his bidding. At the King’s midnight signal, they shall advance unchallenged across the landscape, warriors older than time, shouldering weapons tried and true; weapons that never fail to hit their mark. Ice and snow and freezing rain, with artillery fashioned to make moods fall as low as temperatures, trailing melancholy and lethargy in their wake. Knowing this to be his last stand, King Winter enters into no mere frigid skirmish. Oh no, this is his February; this is his war. We know it is useless to fight, for we have lived through this before. So, snug in our wool and our fleece, we hunker down, with our beaks under our wings, and we wait. Well supplied, secure in our hope and our imagination, we know we can hold out for the twenty eight day siege, even longer if need be. For soon, we remember too well to doubt, the cavalry shall come. Little green troops of Spring shall awaken - a bit here, a bit there - until whole verdant armies appear on the hillsides and swarm through the valleys, warming and lightening both our spirits and our skies, and driving King Winter into exile once more.
Oh yes, we can wait. We are ready.


King Winter sat in his Hall one day,
And he said to himself, said he,
“I must admit I’ve had some fun,

I’ve chilled the Earth and cooled the Sun,
And not a flower or tree
But wishes that my reign were done,
And as long as Time and Tide shall run,
I’ll go on making everyone
As cold as cold can be.”

There came a knock at the outer door:
“Who’s there?” King Winter cried;
“Open your Palace Gate,” said Spring
“For you can reign no more as King,
Nor longer here abide;
This message from the Sun I bring,
‘The trees are green, the birds do sing;
The hills with joy are echoing’:
So pray, Sir - step outside!”

Hugh Chesterman
19th Century

Painting by NC Wyeth


  1. A splendid entry!t In my garden, king winter is geting stiff competition in the form of blooming primroses and perky daffodil shoots. we expect the crocuses to join in any moment now!

  2. We are seeing many teasings of Spring in the Deep South.Iknow that they are just teasers, a frost will probably get them next week!

  3. Bravo! Looking forward to the tender green shoots of Spring! The art you post is amazing and very evocative of your script.

  4. We just ordered a new half cord of wood...bluntly, I think we're ready!

  5. Beautiful post and art work! I myself am ready for spring.

  6. Fitting for winter's chill. Another two months here at least until spring.

  7. when are you going to write your first book? - you tell a story so well! loved this! reminds me of the kind of stories I loved reading as a young girl!

  8. Gorgeous, Pamela, and that is some painting!
    King Winter is getting beaten down around here - shorts and flipflops prevailed today! If I could bottle the weather, I'd send it right over to you!
    xo Isa

  9. Delightful!

    I truly am looking forward to King Winter's exile!

  10. Brilliantly written.

    I am ready for the cavalry!

  11. Fabulous
    As is everything you post

  12. King Winter rules in the garden of Linderhof. (sigh)

  13. Loved this, especially the first part.

  14. At this moment a cold icy wind is blowing..bat a few days ago when I stept outside into the garden the sun was shinig and I could feel its won't be long now!
    And again BEAUTIFUL painting!

  15. There's a glimmer out there today! It won't be long til Spring is here!

    Beautiful Post, thank you!

  16. Spring has sprung in Sacramento. The flowering quince are in my kitchen in a glass vase, and the tulips are at the Farmer's Market.

    Time to plant the flower beds and clean the windows.

    The only worry is that the rain has not been here enough,and a drought is perhaps going to visit this year.

    Stay warm!

  17. Here in the North King Winter shall reign long and hard for at least all of February with little chance of reprieve till the month of March.
    Oh yes there will be a day or two of teasing with above freezing temperatures but we have come to expect this period of hibernation and make the best of its beauty.
    As always Pamela a beautiful post.
    xo Susan

  18. Ahh! Do I see Spring on the far horizon? Hmm. I'm not sure. Not just yet anyway.

    Wonderful post!

  19. Beautiful! I feel cold and melancholy, then snug and finally cheered at the thought of spring!

  20. let it be soon, oh, let spring come visit and breathe her warm vigor into our lives and our hearts!!

    presley sends hugs!

  21. Beautiful post..!
    My garden doesn't know whether it's coming or going - one minute we have buds appearing next we're snowed under.
    Spring is most definately on the horizon though, even if only in my heart..:)

  22. Just looking at the painting make me shiver! Great entry - and come on Spring!

  23. I love that Wyeth painting! Such commanding imagery along with the splendid writing...

    Wonderful as always!

  24. With two full months of winter left here along the shores of Lake Michigan, how I long to hear those words, "So pray, Sir - step outside!" Wonderful! The illustration is terrific.

  25. But first, before we kick King Winter out, couldn't we have one good snow here in South Carolina? My kids are begging for it!

    Then I'll be ready for spring.

  26. And you must be very secure in your imagination. I really liked this.

  27. Hia Pamela that so reminds me of "The Dark is Rising"- that feeling of something ageless holding the world in it's thrall and the larger powers of the world battling for change.

    We had snow here but this morning all that remained from the window was the pile of the which had been a snowman scraped from all the snow in the garden. Hubby took a pic for me. The only time snow settled here on the coast in years. It was weird to see buds of rose leaves with the snow.

  28. A beautiful reminder that spring is coming around the corner. xoxo

  29. Very fitting post for this moment in time in my corner of the world.
    Your writing always amazes me.

  30. Pamela,

    Thank you for your kind comments that you left for me. They are so appreciated and are helping me to heal.


  31. It has been a very odd winter here in Los Angeles.
    King Winter hasn't even shown his face yet!
    I don't want to sound insensitive to those who are experiencing freezing cold temperatures, but I would welcome just a little chill in the air!

    Another lovely post, Pamela.


  32. King Winter has been victorious for now, but King Sun will win out soon!

    Wonderful poem, and painting to illustrate it. You always find the perfect combination, Pamela.

  33. Love this haunting Wyeth painting!

  34. ah, King Winter paid a visit even to Florida last week!

    I've never seen that painting thank you for sharing!


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