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I love winter

January 23, 2011

I live in four season country, on purpose.  I love spring and its energy after a long dark winter, I love a hot summer and the garden it generates, I love the colors and cooling of fall, and, yes, truly

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I am not a skier.  I have snowshoes, but where I live we rarely have snow deep enough to use them. And it’s been awhile since I laced up the old skates.  In other words, I don’t really go out and play in the snow or slide on the ice.  I think I love winter because it is hibernation season.

Winter gives me an excuse to stay home and do a jigsaw puzzle with my daughter, sit with a cat on my lap and read a magazine, pull out a cookbook and  bake something, knit big or small projects, or best of all, take a nap.

I suppose that no small part of my fondness of winter is the fact that my academic schedule gives me a month off in the middle of it.  But I do think I would love winter even if I worked every day. 

And truly most days I actually have to go to work.  But I don’t work outside.  I’m warm, I’m dry, I’m with interesting people.  Commuting can be an adventure sometimes – but usually when the weather is bad even the crazy drivers are well behaved, and if not, it isn’t long before you see them in the ditch.  Assuming no one is injured, I allow myself a moment of schadenfreude at their expense.  [I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth.]

Yes, the cold is uncomfortable, and bitter cold is even painful.  But the colder it is outside the more wonderful it feels when you get inside.  And besides, you can put on a sweater, another pair of socks, wrap up in a throw.  In winter, if you’re cold you can always put on another layer.  In summer, if you’re hot you can only get so naked.

Winter is not all coldness and sleepiness, there is plenty of excitement too.  Where I live it often starts at Thanksgiving, sometimes a week or so later, whenever the first sticking snow falls.  Then there is Christmas and all its excitement in December.  January is something of a recovery month, and then comes Valentine’s Day, a minor holiday for sure, but something to do that breaks up the drabness of late winter.  Yes, I love winter, but even I recognize that February is the longest month of the year, if not in days, in psychological time.

But even as February drags through its 28 or 29 days, I remember these wise words: “Don’t wish away time”.  I don’t wish for winter to go faster.  I try to enjoy the slowness, coldness, even the drabness, because it will make Spring seem all the brighter when it finally arrives.

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