Wintery Storms at Night

Deanna Eppers
4 min readDec 7, 2022

Can be cozy and comforting…

The grey skies lowered every hour with fog settling in above the many rivers and creeks here. Stark naked trees thrust out their cold limbs and were met with a drizzle, but the fog kissed the river; and I smiled as I drove past. December waits for no one.

Later, I climbed into bed, listening to the rain thrum against the roof with sudden hard downpours occasionally creating a cacophony that muffled all other sounds. I nestled into the soft duvet and heard far off thunder. Storms here in winter usually bring a cold rain or a few inches of snow, but last night a rare pleasure awaited me.

Thunder.

When I heard it I turned on my side to look for any lightning and was rewarded with many bright flashes. The house shook when the thunder arrived, and I smiled. To have a stormy winter night such as this was as comforting as my pile of blankets.

Photo by Branimir Balogović on Unsplash

Storms are wild and tempestuous, which must be why I enjoy them. They appear anytime they feel like it with no input from us, and after learning to embrace the flashes of light and sometimes very close shudderings of the thunder that follows, I have been rewarded many times. Especially late last night.

December is full, and I’m usually tearing around trying to decorate according to the year’s theme, then the cards must go out, followed by wrapping and baking. I’ll fit in a ballet or something cultural for fun, and then it’s off to a party or two before I find my self staring down the next year in quiet, contemplative solitude at our cabin.

When my throat started feeling scratchy last night I piled up as many soft blankets as I could find and plunked down a few vintage Christmas magazines from the 1990s, where everyone embraced maximalism and decorated with abandon when a storm interrupted my plans for a silent night.

I fell asleep once the storm passed away to the east of us, and this monring the creek ran high and fast. This storm was a gift to be savored; a rare treat. A reminder to slow down and wonder at the misty dark beauty of winter.

Photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash

If we didn’t have these dark grey, sodden days where the trees drip sad tears of slow rain, we’d forget to marvel at the lushness of summer. When evening arrives early in winter we are compensated months later by the long lingering twilight that graces our days in summertime.

I think we drape lights over our homes in defiance to the newness of yet another long winter. Walking past house after house decorated with more lights than the year before makes me smile and lifts my spirits. We are bound in union with other souls trying to stave off the darkness, and that union brings joy.

Let December cause us to pause and drink in the beauty of greys and browns. I’ll wish for Christmas snow, but I’ve only seen it once since moving here. I’d love to take a sleigh ride in the country with our neighbor’s horses in the stub end of December when everyone has turned from Christmas.

Photo by David Babayan on Unsplash

It’s time to turn on my lights, but I must mention just two generations ago Christmas was celebrated starting on Christmas Eve with a fresh tree in the house. The season lasted into January. Epiphany ended the Christmas season, and the focus was on music and singing, cooking and baking and sharing drinks with family and friends, and no one paid attention to bedtimes. Gatherings lasted well into the night.

Tonight the dark is close with no stars peeking out from clouds running across the face of the moon. This is a night for a fire, and my many candles are lit. My winter candles, for even they have seasons.

I hope you enjoy the beginning of winter and embrace it this year. Light your home and turn on the music that sends the darkness scattering, but take some time to ponder the fog, the snows, the vast array of stars on a clear, bitter night. You might even be blessed with a rare thunderstorm.

One never knows until it happens.

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Deanna Eppers

Musician, ex-CPA at KPMG Peat Marwick, volunteer, decorator, renovating another house, mom to three, wife to one, blogs about finding happiness