(I’m on my way to Ohio today for an extended weekend, so my photo challenge entry will have to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime...)
A winter storm warning, high winds, and blowing snow bring to mind the comforts of hunkering down at home. “Hunkering” is a wonderful word, full of nuances and associations. Strictly speaking, “hunker” means to squat down, often for a long time. But it’s the informal meanings that contain richer meanings:
to hide, hide out, or take shelter.
Those meanings might not be so enjoyable if you’re caught outside without shelter or if your weather forecast includes a tornado, hurricane, or other natural disaster. But that’s not where we’re going. We’re headed home or, if you prefer, to a lodge hidden away somewhere that’s special to you.
Come in. Grab an armful of wood while you’re on the porch, leave your boots by the door. Sit down. Relax. Watch the flames dance in the stove. Tea or hot chocolate? I have marshmallows and more tea choices than you can imagine. Grab a throw if you’re cold. Yes, that’s soup you smell and the bread’s almost ready to come out of the bread machine. You’re welcome to work the puzzle on the dining room table, board games are over there, books are everywhere. Or we can just sit and talk. It’s so good to see you.
In my mind, “hunkering” includes being able to look out the window and see the beauty of a snowy day. You could hunker during rainy conditions, but no one can hunker when the sun’s shining and it’s hot. Heat allows you to lounge in a hammock or on the beach, stretching cat-like in the warmth. Hunkering is curling up, drawing inward, conserving warmth, battening down the hatches.
After food, drink, and renewal, I want to be able to don outdoor clothes and boots, head outside with my camera, phone or Nikon, to take post-hunkering photos, followed later on by an evening of watching a hockey game while sipping a dark beer and eating home-popped popcorn. In the morning, the sun will hopefully be shining on all that newly fallen show.
Those of us in the northern hemisphere are moving inexorably toward non-hunkering time, while those in the other half of the world are anticipation (or dreading), the approaching hunkering time. Whichever part of the world you call home, I hope you have at least one time soon to enjoy hunkering; alone, with a pet, or with family and friends. Happy hunkering!