The official first day of winter, 2016, isn’t for nearly two weeks, but winter really started here yesterday. We didn’t get a lot of snow, nothing you couldn’t broom off your sidewalk easily, but we got slippery, blowing snow and extreme cold,”white-out” conditions that gave us a 40 car pile up with fatalities on one of our express ways. I do dread this time of year. It has been a long time since it brought the joy of sledding and school closings. Now I look at the older people in my life and wonder, will they make it until spring? Now winters are something to get through, hoping friends can hang on until summertime, “When the livin’ is easy”.
Every year I try to find something I like about winter, a new thing to do, a little something to look forward to. I can’t find anything about the cold and dark, or the snow, that I can enjoy, it only fills me with dread. The very best I’ve ever done is the thought “it’s not so bad”, not a particularly happy thought, but better than a lot of my thoughts. Right now I’m thinking this is a time to look inward, to find joy within myself, to learn something new. When it comes down to it, winter reminds me of the lack of control we all have. That feeling when your car starts spinning and there’s nothing you can do. Despite the best efforts of the weather predictors, we never know how much snow is coming, we never remember that it will be dark before we finish working outside, we never figure out how to dress warm enough and not get so hot we need to quickly peel off layers, only to find ourselves freezing again a few minutes later.
I cannot control the weather, I am incapable of enjoying winter, so this year I’ll try to turn on the television a little less often and get lost in making things and learning things a little more often. If I can’t find fun in winter, perhaps I can get through it a little easier, with moments of enjoyment, and learn not to wish away precious time. This year I’m hoping that when spring comes I’ll feel like I’ve something to show for the months I’ve spent in the cold and dark.