Welcome to February

Erik Flesch & Sara Lomasz Flesch

While we say goodbye to friends taking a break from the reality of this beautiful and sometimes brutal winterscape, we marvel at the opportunities to embrace all the wonder and activity that our region offers this time of year.
As you peruse these pages, you’ll find ample examples of the creativity that thrives here, even in the dead of winter. You’ll also find invitations to stretch your own creative muscles through calls for literary and artistic contributions to the Driftless Writing Center’s 10th anniversary anthology (see pp. 5-6).
And if you need some inspiration as you consider our call for limericks, haiku and poetry (see ad, p. 6), we leave you with this submission shared by Sharon Rowe of Dodgeville.

Michael J. Smith captured the Wolf Moon rising late last month above Mineral Point, whose downtown streets are adorned with ice lanterns ahead of the Feb. 2 Ice Lantern Festival.

Much as we have become naturalized as Driftless natives, the truth is that we grew up in a winterless southern state that always seemed populated by people not from there, people trying to start over or escape something — like winter.
So after experiencing various other exotic locales, we consciously chose a life of seasons, all four of them, in the Midwest. Sometimes Mother Nature laughs in our faces, and we’ve learned phrases like “polar vortex” and “snowpocalypse,” and donned snowshoes to prevent sliding down ice-covered driveways to our car.
As we go to press with our second issue of 2019, it’s really winter out there, and we’re still embracing it, feeling that the world is right again after unseasonably mild conditions just a few weeks ago. This is Wisconsin in winter after all.

I think I’m defeated by haiku,
They are often more challenge than fun,
I find I am out of syllables
While my thoughts are only half done.
I try to focus on moonlight
And zen and nature and waves
I end up thinking about Nantucket
And hermits and what’s in their caves.

Happy reading,