Unlike most of my readership, who live on sunny tropical islands, I live in the snow belt. Since you tropical island dwellers don't know what you are missing, let me fill you in.
Oh that very first snowfall- so magical. It sends school children to the windows excitedly shrieking "It's snowing!" And for weeks after the first flakes fall, you marvel about the snow. You catch the cold, wet flakes on your tongue. You examine each perfectly formed crystal that falls on your sleeve. They are miraculous. "The Inuit have 200 words for snow," you remark, not knowing if your number is on the mark or not. It is ok. It is forgivable. You don't need to be certain of the number. Just speaking the phrase illustrates your reverence. As you look at those tiny, intricate crystals, each one unique, you have an experience that can only be described as religious. Talk about wow-factor. Holy shit, is Mother Nature amazing. Life is just extraordinary; nature so full of wonder. You are surrounded by miracles that can only be seen if you are paying attention. And on this day, you are truly paying attention, and it is all so deeply beautiful.
It feels great to be alive.
You vow to buy cross country skis and to take daily walks. What could be more peaceful than being out in the quiet; snow gently falling, far away from any computers, no ringing cell phones and zero responsibility. Ah, yes the winter. You used to think that the winter had a personal vendetta against you, but then you realized that it was all about the gear. You are now warm and snug in your layers of high tech textiles. And you are glad to live in the climate you are in.
The quiet. The peace. The world nestled by a blanket of snow. It is so beautiful it takes your breath away.
As the weeks go by, the snow continues to fall and the temperatures drop. You don't get out as much as you planned. But you know that the snow is out there waiting for you, patiently waiting to be formed into stacked spherical figures with carrots for noses. It is waiting to be slid down and formed into small projectile balls and recycle box forts. It is there, waiting for you to glide through on your skis, or hike about on your snowshoes.
And as you go about your day to day, work a day life, you take comfort in knowing that you are one of those people who appreciates the gifts that the winter brings. You are the kind of person who puts on the gear and gets out there in the elements.
Although, you don't really get out there so much, do you? I mean, you did get out there that one time, and even a few times after, but seriously, how long has it been now?
The sad truth is snow doesn't stay white and pristine. It gets slushy, and brown, and it piles up in places where you don't want it, and you have to shovel it to new places. And you have to trudge through it day after day, and worse yet, teeter-tooter on sheer ice on some days. Mother Nature doesn't consider driveways and sidewalks and such when she decides to blanket us. Her blanket covers all.
You trudge for weeks.
And then it comes to you, in a flash. You are completely sick of winter. And moreover, you are washing your hands of the entire season. You become passive aggressive. You start forgetting where your gloves are. You lose your scarf. You stop wearing a coat altogether and instead dash from your warm car into the safety of a warm building. Never mind the earmuffs. Forget the snow boot thing. Fuck it. You will just fall down. You are done.
Never mind that the temperatures have not changed. It is still snowing. It is still cold.
But the hell with it. You are a rebel. You are no longer going to let the weather dictate how you dress. You are going to dress however you feel like dressing. To hell with winter.
The resentment sets in. You start to take the cold personally. You are certain that the winter is trying to kill you. And the thing is, you are right. The simple fact of the matter is that the winter has no regard for you. So why the hell were you holding winter in such high esteem? Why did you even decide to live in such a stupid place, anyway? You could be eating pineapples and wearing some kind of sarong wrapped around your body. You must be some kind of idiot.
I have to stop writing and go out and greet my day. It is 22 degrees outside. But I am done with winter. So, here I go then, in my shorts and flip flops. I open the door. The cold blasts through my bones, yet a smile of satisfaction spreads across my face. Ah, the pure delight of sticking it to the man.
Have fun reading! Feel free to pass these scrawlings on, but make sure to give credit. This is copyrighted material.