Monday, September 23, 2013

Wintry Cravings

I've been thinking lately about seasons, the changes that come with each one, the way the outside world has a way of seeping in, making us feel something.

I've always thrived on the change of seasons. I loved growing up in Upstate New York because the seasons were so dramatically different from one another. The chill that came over the air in late September, the first snowfall, the airy breath of spring come April. They were each so beautiful and the changes felt so good and wholesome and vital, necessary for time to keep going on.

We've been living for over a year in a place with minor seasonal changes, and while I know many people would appreciate the temperate falls and winters here, I find myself craving and missing the stark contrasts that I grew up with. We've been making our Christmas plans and we will be spending time with both of our families in a place even further south of here, and while it will be delightful and we're looking forward to it, I do find myself feeling a tiny bit sad to spend another Christmas without snow. (Last year, we were in California for Christmas.)

I often feel like I have to defend my love for cold, crisp, snowy winters. I have to explain why they bring me much happiness and peace, and a feeling of coziness. There's the thrill of watching a blizzard rage outside as you sit by the warm fire. The majesty and quiet beauty in waking up to a world covered in white. We got married on December 30 and when, on December 28, big, beautiful flakes of snow began to gently fall, blanketing our quiet village in the freshest of white, welcoming our guests into a fairyland, I felt that the Heavens had given me a precious wedding gift.

I wonder if this is genetic. My Dad definitely understands the things I'm describing. He taught me to love the winter and to enjoy it (we went skiing, sledding, ice skating), to wear layers and bundle up, to breathe in the cold energizing air and notice the loveliness of the sleeping winter landscape. Now, I have such a connection to this under-appreciated season that photos like the one above make me homesick. This wintry entryway kindles such a visceral reaction in me. I can almost feel the chilliness, and my wool sweater around my neck. I can smell the pine trees, and I can sense that Christmas or perhaps Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I crave hot chocolate and I want to fill my lungs with the natural world and then sink into the warmth inside.

Some people might see this image and shiver a little, but I think it's so inviting, peaceful, serene. Something in me responds to it and craves the things it promises.

I may have to wait another year until I get my winter. But perhaps the anticipation will only make it sweeter.


  1. I get what you mean 100%
    Growing up in MD it's mild compared to what you experienced in upstate NY, but we still had all the extremes of the seasons and I appreciate them. I don't mind the mild summer we had here opposed to the hot and humid air on the Chesapeake bay, but still, not spending a summer near the water or enjoying in the summer food traditions (steamed crabs), it just doesn't feel the same.
    Blacksburg, is beautiful, don't get me wrong. It's been fall here for a few weeks now and the trees have been changing and I can't wait. It's different with not experiencing it with family.

  2. Glad I'm not the only one :) The change of seasons are so revitalizing, I just can't wait to experience them again.

  3. Needing real distinct seasons was one of the reasons I only seriously looked at colleges on the eastern seaboard from Virginia up to Montreal. What can I say? I want all four :)

  4. Ditto! The winters in South Bend, IN were actually a draw for me :) Everyone thought I was crazy.

  5. I hope that you get your winters again! I love blizzards and have wonderful memories of building snow forts and tunnels in my front yard as a kid. And the snowmen. Those snowmen were crucial. Even DC can feel too mild for me at times, as we don't get *real* snow the way that upstate NY does.

  6. I have those blizzard memories too! I always loved them! :)


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