Friday, January 31, 2014

First Five Fragments for Friday - End of January

Your weekly offering of writing/art prompts.

The end of January is not just about the Super Bowl. For those of you outside the U.S., this is the time of year when our biggest football game of the season enjoys unlimited publicity that brings along with it a barrage of recipes for truly unhealthy (but yummy) snacks, beer sales, football fan gear, another opportunity for a party. Me? I tend to watch the commercials during the game because that is some of the most clever advertising of the entire year. And I do like beer.

But I digress. I was about to say that the end of January is more than that. For the Celts, Christians, and Pagans among us, St. Brigid's Day looms. She is the patron saint of poets and was Irish, so I kind of like her. There is the renewed hope of spring, the view toward melting snow and awakening earth. There is Valentine's Day, for the love-struck. The end of January is a shift toward warmth.

That is not to say that, in Minnesota, we are done with winter. There is still plenty of time here for quiet at-home time while snows continue to pile up, ice still blankets our lakes, and nights by the fire are still what feels good.

Here are this week's prompts:

January images

1. The way smoke rises slowly as if reluctant to leave the chimney

2. The paleness of sunrise against snow and bare trees as if fire, too, slumbers

3. In the so-called dead of winter, critters are alive and well and on the move, as evidenced by the clear snow trails created by squirrels, rabbits, crows, and other creatures

4. Plumes of snow that fly over banks too tall to show the humans and machines that create those plumes, while the sound of snowblowers is harsh in the cold air

5. Small birds who visit empty snow-laden bird feeders, hopeful as they bob their heads at the bird feeder openings until they give up and fly away

Happy Friday. Go fill some bird feeders.

Geranium reaching toward the sun. (kcmickelson 2014)