Editor's Desk - What Winter Reveals

If anyone needed convincing, any doubts have been put to rest now: Winter has arrived in full strength in the St. Croix Valley. Though only the first full week of January has passed, we are each now veterans of temperatures that plunged to 30 degrees below with the wind chill accounted for – and not much higher without it – and a snowfall rate that buried us, our homes, and our vehicles within a few hours.

Anytime I have the (occasionally painful) pleasure of experiencing a Maine winter and witnessing how the community responds to it, one thought comes to mind. “Only in the winter does the pine tree show its true strength.” It’s a paraphrased quote taken from Confucius, and for me it perfectly encapsulates the people that share in this most frigid and unyielding of seasons.

Pine trees are remarkable in that they do not shed their leaves like most trees, preferring instead to avoid the energetic expense of regrowing them every spring. Their “leaves” have appropriately become somewhat odd in shape, resembling needles to minimize their surface area. As a result, however, we who live amongst the pines are gifted with greenery all throughout the year.

The people who live in Down East Maine are often like pine trees themselves – perhaps a bit prickly to the touch at times, but it is in the winter that their willingness to live, adapt, and gain strength from their neighbors is most apparent. 

 

Lura Jackson