the winter people

as the sun paints the leaves a lighter color
in anticipation for the changing of the season,
laying out the fancy fall foliage,
waiting for the summer crowds to head on home

a pot of soup waits on the stove
and in the woods, beneath the fallen logs
and inside the hollowed out trees
await the winter people

those who love the frigid temperatures,
dancing in the air as the snowflakes drift down
to cover the gold and red and brown carpet
that Fall left behind

the winter people politely wait their turn
sending messages that they will be arriving soon
their sentiments echoed in the smoke breathed out into the air
and in the frozen dew crunching beneath steady steps

they bring with them evergreens and white
and berries not for the tasting
and memories made wrapped in warm blankets
created all those years ago by a great-aunt or grandmother

the winter people smell like peppermint
or ginger and cloves
and they delight in mugs of hot chocolate
or apple cider

and roaring fires in the hearth

and at night just before closing their eyes
the winter people tease their hosts with stories of
seasons gone by
and memories of warmth and bare feet and
bright-colored flowers

they come with a jovial spirit
and settle in quite nicely
closing shop early, making the evenings longer
asking us all to slow down and be

together

in the glow of the fire
their hearts are reflected
and the strength of those who can bear the cold
is breathtaking

they have a special gift
these souls who thrive in the coldest of times
they bring peace and comfort
and warm the souls for whom the cold

is daunting
and for those who think they might never survive

the winter people are there
to say
“yes you can,
I’m here,
we can do this,
together”

"Las Golczewski zima" by Radosław Drożdżewski (Zwiadowca21) - Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Las_Golczewski_zima.jpg#/media/File:Las_Golczewski_zima.jpg
“Las Golczewski zima” by Radosław Drożdżewski (Zwiadowca21) – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons 
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