The Blessing of Winter

My husband hates this Winter.  He’s not alone.  In my travels at work and online, the topic of conversation has been almost universally devoted to how much this Winter sucks ass.  Living with someone who has been going on non-stop about the snow and cold has been difficult for me.  Not a day goes by where I don’t hear him pining for the warm winds of Spring and an end to this horrible arctic experience.

My husband also knows that I happen to love the Winter.  In a way, I feel like I have to live in the closet around others when they complain about it, but my husband knows.  I can’t say anything really.  I know how much this has inconvenienced him.  His car has gotten stuck twice.  As he is looking for work it makes job searching difficult, and a scheduled interview for today was postponed as we are currently midway through the worst storm of the season.  Yeah, it sucks for a lot of people.

But I still love Winter.

I’ve seen the images and news reports from areas in the South that are not prepared for even the smallest amounts of snowfall.  2″ of snow causes Atlanta to eerily resemble that city’s appearance on The Walking Dead.  Inexperienced drivers on non-treated roads become two-ton bullets incapable of stopping or steering, and eventually traffic just stops because there’s no way around the numerous fender-benders and no traction on any sort of hills.  Cities in that area just don’t have a budget for Winter conditions.  Wintry weather rarely happens that far south.  Alabama, I think, only has three plow trucks in the whole state (I could be wrong on that but I doubt I am far off the mark).

But I still love Winter.

I am getting tired of holding my tongue whenever someone launches into a tirade about it.  I feel like some sort of meteorological outcast whenever I respond with my unabashed love of the season.  I even get people looking at me like I am crazy.  They don’t understand why I don’t hate this the way they do, but I’m sorry, I don’t.  The best is when they express bewilderment at the fact that it actually snows in Winter.  If you live in a warmer area where this doesn’t happen very often I get it, but if, like me, you live in an area where snow is not unusual in Winter, then why are you shocked when it actually, you know, snows?  I can remember far worse Winters, in terms of precipitation, in the last decade alone.  2011 comes to mind, where PA, NJ, and NYC received record amounts of snow- at least three or four blizzards dumping well over 18″ each time with many smaller storms sprinkled in between.  Roads and work were shut down for days, digging out was horrendous, but you know what?  We got over it.  Somehow we endured. The last couple years, we got off easy, with relatively mild temperatures and rain as opposed to snow.  In fact, the last 12″+ snow my area had prior to today was the freak storm on Halloween of 2012.

I realize people live in the now, and they only see how this current pattern affects them in the moment.  I recognize that these conditions are inconvenient and sometimes dangerous.  I’m an impatient person by nature, and nothing teaches patience like 18″ of snow.  Whether you’re having to sit by and watch it pile up, unable to do anything outside of the house or go anywhere, or traveling in it as I often do for work, you have to give yourself time and anticipate what comes next.  Winter makes you think about things most people normally take for granted.  It shows us that we are not top of the heap when it comes to nature, and does so far less catastrophically than a hurricane or a tornado.

And, it’s beautiful.  While that might be subjective, there is nothing that calms me and makes me smile more than a fresh blanket of snow.  The way it quiets the world and gently mutes out the distractions.  The PA Turnpike sits not 300 feet from my house, and there is no steady drone of traffic, no downshifting tractor-trailers growling through this peaceful haze of white.  This is as close as we get to time standing still.  This doesn’t happen very often in life, it should be savored, not bemoaned.

Above all else, this will not last.  Time doesn’t stand still, it marches on relentlessly, immune to humanity and our concerns.  Soon enough it will be Spring, and then in the Summer, the same people who are complaining about the snow now will be whining about how hot it is.  For the record, I am not a fan of hot and humid days, but I will never go on about the cold, or about snow.  It brings me a child-like joy that nothing else can come close to.  This is my blessing and I am thankful for it.

Beauty

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