6: winter people

I don’t think particularly highly of winter.

Some people really dig the cold. Some pro-winter arguments that I’ve heard:

  • I love wearing layers!
  • I love getting all cozy inside!
  • I love warm yummy lattes!

Okay, sure. I love all of those things, too. Layered clothes are comfy and stylish, and who doesn’t love getting wrapped up in a blanket and sitting by the fire with a warm beverage?

But, to be fair, these are all things we do to combat winter. The way I see it, nobody actually loves it when it’s too cold to go outside for 4 solid months of the year.

And when the cold finally does subside, people swarm outdoor areas like locusts. The first day after winter that it hits 50 degrees, everyone’s suddenly in shorts.

I’m an outdoorsy person. I grew up not in a neighborhood, but on a 12-acre plot of land surrounded by fields, creeks and woods to play in. My brothers and I spent hours of every summer afternoon spent exploring and questing, transposing the fantasy worlds of the video games and movies we loved onto the nature around us.

We had a makeshift tree fort, a wooden platform high off the ground that was our home base in the woods. We were travelers, kings, heroes. Pokemon trainers, knights, Jedi.

To this day, my preferred activities are hiking, biking, going to the park, walking around downtown.

Admittedly, these things are all a lot less fun when the temperature drops below 30 degrees.

When it snows, however? Well, that’s a game-changer.

My bed sits directly next to a window. I made this strategic decision because I like to be woken up by the sun, I find the sound of rain battering against the screen rather soothing, and because the shining white sight of snow falling first thing in the morning fills me with euphoria.

I think that joy is a leftover instinct from my childhood. Snow, for most of us, meant the distinct possibility of school getting cancelled. Likewise, it meant that we’d get to build forts and throw snowballs and imagine up whole fantasy worlds that weren’t possible in a snowless landscape.

As I moved from childhood into my adolescent years, I became significantly more introspective. But that didn’t stop me from spending a lot of my time outside.

The tree fort became less of a home base for adventurers and more of a quiet place to sit and think. I turned into a sort of amateur photographer and tried to capture the beauty I could feel all around me to share with the world. I loved nothing more than to take long walks in the woods and brood over all the new emotions that I didn’t know how to fully control.

I still don’t, and I still love a good trek through nature.

Snow made these long walks infinitely more mystical, and the heavier and deeper the snow got, the more therapeutic it became. Trudging into the cold white unknown is refreshing and invigorating.

I’ll walk for as long as I can stand, until my socks are soaked through and my fingers feel like they could fall off at any moment.

And then I can escape back inside and employ those cozy weapons that “winter people” love.

So even though my reserves of childlike wonder are substantially lower than they were when I was an actual child, I still feel a sense of relief, of elation when the world becomes blanketed in white.

When I started writing this post about an hour ago, it was snowing here. It’s since stopped, and the blanket I was hoping for is more of a light dusting. But it’s still beautiful, and it was nice while it lasted.




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