Instructions: Find five things that have color (“Farbe,” in German) in February. That start with “F.” Kind of like the game “Scattergories,” or a scavenger hunt. Easy version: just think of them. Advanced version: draw pictures of them, or write about them. A poem, maybe? Here are mine: (If you look at mine and feel too influenced, just pick another alphabet letter.)
1. Food. Food is full of Farbe. You could paint or draw a “still life.” Or, as I have done, a “hold-still life.”
2. Friends. The faces of friends. And their fashions. Frozen fun. Fsleds: Flexible flyers.
3. Fire. Fireplaces. Bonfires. In Vorarlberg, a region of Austria, there is a tradition of building a tall wooden tower. It is filled, sometimes with old Christmas trees. The effigy of a witch is filled with explosive powder and placed at the top. The tower is set ablaze and everyone watches and eats special pastries. When the fire reaches the witch, she explodes! Winter is banished! Our Austrian friend, Clemens, says it is “to end the winter and so spring can come.” The day to do it is on the Sunday after Ash Wednesday; this year, that would be February 17. The name of the festival is “Funken,” which just means “towers.” Better get started!
4. Foxes. Q: Is there anything more beautiful than a red fox running across the snow? A: No. But there are a lot of things there is nothing more beautiful than. As Mary Oliver said in her book-length poem, The Leaf and The Cloud, “A lifetime isn’t long enough for the beauty of this world.”
5. Flowers. Flowers from the florist. “Forced” flowers. From a friend, for a friend.
Okay — your turn!