The Wonder of Winter
Written by: Crista Leonard
(The following is a depiction of my ideal winter season, not this pre-spring that many parts of the US are experiencing. Thanks El Niño.)
When you think about your favorite season, what do you think about? Sunshine, blooming flowers, the beach? Or how about bonfires, colored leaves, and pumpkins? I think about cold air, a barren landscape, and snow. Yep, that's right. My favorite season is winter. Quite an anomaly I would say. Maybe it's because I was born in January, maybe it's because I am just strange, but all my life it has been this way. I love winter.
Some of my happiest memories take place in the winter. As a child, I remember the first snow day that school was cancelled every year, my dad would take off work and we would go skiing. We would take my neighbor/best friend and who ever else could come at the spur of the moment. Sometimes we would have a whole van full. I remember learning to ski for the first time. I was 8. I was hooked. Flying down a snow covered mountain at high rates of speed...who couldn't love that?! I remember building snow igloos with my neighbor in giant piles of snow in my yard, left from shoveling my massive driveway. We made snow ice cream, snow angels, and snowmen. The whole neighborhood would race to sled down our street as many times as we could - it was a nice downhill slope - before the plows came. When the plows would come, we would throw snowballs at the poor guy's truck who was just trying to do his job. But hey, he ruined our sledding!
Aside from all the fond memories I have of winter, there are so many other things I love about it. For starters, all the mosquitoes, gnats, and other pesky bugs die a certain death. I can enjoy my yard without being eaten for lunch. The dry air is kind to my naturally curly frizzy hair. The cold crisp air is fresher and cleaner. Not stagnant and choking you with it's heavy humidity. And the snow. I can't forget about the snow. I love snow. Yes it's cold and wet, but it's beauty makes up for that. The way it softly and quietly covers the world in a blanket of white is amazing to me. The white world looking so pure and innocent. When the sun hits it, it sparkles in a way that nothing else on earth can. Each snowflake is special and unique. Looking at the snow covered world immediately brings me a sense of peace. Everything is suddenly ok. Stress is gone. Joy surfaces. Then there is snow's cousin, frost. The frost covered grass and trees are also a wondrous sight. Nature's glitter. It only lasts for a few hours before it disappears, so marvel in it while you can.
In the winter, everything is dead and barren. I think this is a big reason why most people don't care for the winter. When there is no snow, everything is brown. They prefer the green grass, full trees, and flowers. I see it differently. During the fall, everything slowly dies. The leaves bare beautiful colors and then fall to the ground, dead. To me, this death is beautiful. Sounds crazy, a bit morbid, I know. But the way everything dies brings me peace. It's quiet. The chirping birds are all gone. There are no buzzing bees. There are no neighbors mowing their grass way too early on a Saturday morning. Everything is dead. But the truth is, that it's not really a death. It's more like a resting period. A break. We all need a break. Even mother nature. In a few short months, her vacation will be over and everything will come to life again. The birds will return with their songs, the sun will shine brighter and longer. And the seasons will continue to circle from birth, to life, and back to death again.
So for those of you who don't care for winter, you are entitled to do so. But try to look at it in a different light. Take in the quiet, feel the peace, appreciate the only death that is not permanent. The cold death of winter can only make you look forward to the spring all the more.