Winter is back in my corner of the world. I woke up to see snow flurries, blanketing the neighborhood in a soft, small layer of white flakes. These days, when it snows, it tickles me with a bit of nostalgia and I welcome how it quiets things down. But is also reminds me that I used to hate winter. As an adult, winter used to be nothing but a nuisance to me; always in the way of getting from point A to point B. And I also hated how bleak and dark it was and I hated feeling cooped up in the house.
Of course, it was a little different when I was a kid. Winter was always made for kids. Remember the days at school when you and your friends looked out the window all day, and as the sky would become more and more gray we placed bets on whether we were having a snow day the next day? And the jubilation when we woke up the next morning that school is closed? Yay! There was so much to do: sledding, ice skating, making angels and snowmen, snowball fights and imaginary worlds made with forts and igloos. There was a small pond down the street from my home and I would ice skate all day, all winter, practicing figure 8s and axel jumps.
It has taken me awhile, but these days my feelings with Winter have changed. But it’s not really just the nostalgia as the reason my feelings with Winter has changed, I think it’s a little more about why things quiet down. And why it seems important to me why everything quiets down.
As I get older I appreciate less going through the days with a break-neck speed. Earlier in my life, I didn’t see much of the reason for Winter. Now that the years are changing and it’s not really snowing as much, as the temperatures rise, the world is always on full throttle. There doesn’t seem to be any downtime anymore for humans OR nature.
A few years ago, we had such a warm winter that, after that summer I was losing shrubs and trees to fungus left and right in my yard. And it seemed silly, perhaps stupid, that it occurred to me that there really is a reason for Winter and it seems like we need it even more. Not to just ice skate or to play with the snow, but to appreciate the natural cycle of things. Winter slows the pace, puts the right life cycles for bugs, birds, bees and butterflies. Puts animals to hibernation, kills the bugs, puts the trees to sleep, keeps us home for quiet time for reading, mediation, family time, or to just contemplate life while sitting next to a warm fire with a hot cup of tea.
Winter is still not my favorite season, but I’m glad that I appreciate it much more. I’m happy to see the snow today, happy to feel the cold, and hoping that it continues to show off its purpose.