I feel that annual rebirth beginning. This magical time in northwestern Montana. This, after months of the clouds lowering, the temperatures skid-skittering, the light, the sky, the ground, all becoming the mono-palette of blue-gray. This wonderful time of the clouds thinning and breaking! The temperatures easing (a little), and the sun refilling the hope bucket! This is when the payoff begins. Nevermind the Snowbirds, flittering south when the first omens of the Montana winter begin (can't blame 'em, might do it to if I could. Naw, I wouldn't). This is when we "year rounders" start getting paid back for stickin' it out through the Montana winter. The fantastic dichotomy of the sun-filled, blue sky. The Mission mountains wearing a fresh coating of powder sugar, while basking in the evening light of alpine glow. This is when you can feel everything coming back to full. We know it's not Goldentime (summer) yet, but at least we're out of the grays. I always forget how many color are hidden or gone in the winter. Mono-palette: sky-is-cloud-is-mountain-is-ground-is-lake-is-air... Whew, not sure if it's getting harder to take, year after year, or if this year just hit me harder. That's the thing about the Montana winters: it's not the physical manifestations of the season, it's the mental game. Keeping some sort of light bright and hot inside your core. I do love it when the temperature free falls and the snow comes down so hard it swallows all sound. But the long term bleakness also erodes something. It gets hard to remember the days of long light in the summer, the never-ending cycle of mowing the lawn, harvesting cherrys, raspberrys, peaches, cherrys again, more raspberries. There's the full payoff. If you haven't spent a round year in state, I invite you to try one. Makes the colorful months that much sweeter when harvested!
your humble brewer