We need winter. It’s a reminder that life needs to slow down, take a break, and, yes, sometimes make us a little miserable to be able to appreciate that there is always another season.
Without a cloudy, gray day complete with drizzle, or sometimes a downpour, we wouldn’t really be able to appreciate the ease of walking outside without an umbrella. We wouldn’t appreciate the ease of getting in and out of a car, especially when you’re fumbling with three different kinds of car seats, a diaper bag, and a stroller of monstrous proportions. We wouldn’t appreciate those cute Wellies that we bought when we didn’t really need them.
Without a snowfall of epic proportions, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate how much kids love playing in the snow, no matter how cold it is outside. We would forget how good a mug of hot chocolate with a mountain of marshmallows and whipped cream tastes after hours outside. We wouldn’t remember how much joy it is to snuggle on the couch, make some popcorn, and put in the movie Tangled. And still cry at the paper lantern scene.
Without the bitter cold of the winter winds, we wouldn’t get the chance to wear our favorite and superwarm down coat from Lands End. And our old coats from years gone by would continue to sit in our closets because we wouldn’t remember how many people out there could use a winter coat.
When summer ends, for me at least, it’s a welcome relief. The evenings are getting cooler and the bright greens of summer start to turn warm and cozy colors like orange and yellow and red.
The leaves eventually fall and strip the trees naked but it’s okay. We make up for it with beautiful ribbons and lights and candy canes. We gather together with friends and family and eat big meals and celebrate the season.
Then we’re done. It’s just cold or snowy or wet or gray. And there’s nothing to brighten the day except maybe the rosy cheeks of our kids coming in from the cold. But we feel stifled. We feel depressed. We feel SAD (yes, it’s a real thing).
And then we have a day that reaches 40 degrees and maybe even 50 degrees and suddenly… the jacket is cast off and the short sleeves come out. It’s probably too chilly for shorts but you’ll see them anyway. Because we know Spring is coming. We saw a robin and a cardinal! A sure sign that the eternal winter might not be so eternal after all!
Kids are riding their bikes and the neighbors are catching up on what seems like a winter of isolation. And then it turns cold again. It’s still February. There will be some more cool air. There will probably be a little more snowfall. There may even be some arctic winds blowing in. But we’ll make it because we’ve had a glimpse.
Underneath the cold and gray and snow, nature’s been hard at work. It’s preparing the buds for the first flowers of spring. It’s readying the bulbs to rear their beautiful heads. And it’s even waking up the frogs telling them it’s almost time.
Winter is here to remind us that everything needs a rest and after that rest, there is rebirth and renewal. Hold on. It’s coming soon.