Thursday, December 4, 2008

Winter's Bad Rap

I don't know what is so bad about winter. So many comments flying about regarding how much people "hate the cold." I settled into the season with a different frame of mind this year. Here are the things I like about winter where I live.

We have a fire in our living room 24-7 as long as the cold remains. I like a fire, and the old coffee pot filled with sizzling water sitting on top of the wood stove. I love the way our dog curls up near the hearth, and the ticking sound the stove makes as it heats up with fresh fuel. I love carrying in the wood we cut and split last winter and spring. I love teamwork with my son as we tend the fire, one or the other feeding the flames when needed.

Where I live the woods have a different life in the winter. You can see through the canopy for great distances when the leaves are down. You can hear the squirrels skittering across branches, or turkeys from the next valley down stream. I'm able to hike with a vast public land nearly all to myself, with no mosquitoes or thoughts of poisonous vipers we have in these woods. My body warms with climbs and descents in our hills, making a few layers of clothing plenty even in our coldest weather.

I like the family times, when there is nowhere else to be, and we sit with music ringing off the walls of our cabin. Guitars and voices, hand drums and smiles mixing into some warm mystical joy. I like the goose down comforter my wife and I sleep beneath and the cool air in our cabin bedroom when we wake in the dark mornings.

I've lived in places that were warmer, and winter was spring just longer. I've lived in colder places, where heating was controlled by someone down the street, and I could see the puffs of breath from our children as we tucked them in under many layers of quilt. I have found joy in all of those places and times. I smile as I remember them. I just can't find any reason why weather should bring any complaints from those of us who honor its founder.

When I lived in Arizona, I once walked with a life long resident across a long portion of pavement in the heat of a 115 degree day. I asked him if he ever tired of the intense summer heat. I'll never forget his answer. "David, I learned long ago never to pay homage to the weather."

I guess that may be why I am finding such joy in the first fluffy snows, and the cool breezes with stars behind them, and the joyful energy of my German Shepherd as she runs and plays through her favorite time of the year. Life is too good to complain about weather. There's joy in the air...


Eric Paul said...

I also share your affinity toward this time of year, though my apartment does not quite render itself to the beauty found with a woodburning stove on a hill in Brown County.

david said...

Then you need to spend more time on the hill in Brown County!

Zee said...

wow, David, that marvellous description almost makes me like winter :)

i guess with me - i like the snow and the crunchy noise it makes when you walk on that white substance (reminds me of grandma, 'cuz she loved the sound and winter)... but when the snowy blanket turns into a gray murky slush... ehhhhh... that's when i don't like it. and in Kiev, with all the people and cars, the snow quickly loses its cleanliness and pure looks, not to mention it melts quicker.