If you don’t know me or can’t tell from the name of my blog or the title of my post, I love winter. I mean, I seriously love winter. I always have, and I’m pretty sure I always will. As a youngster, I didn’t notice that the majority of people around me were winter haters. I was naive enough to think that everyone else thought like me. I had no reason to believe otherwise. My neighborhood friends and I would make the most of the large amount of snow that fell in Western New York every winter. In those days, kids played outside regardless of weather. On a side note, it seems in these days and times, kids don’t even play outside in the summer.
But that’s another subject.
As I was saying, I am a winter lover. The lower the mercury drops in the thermometer, the happier I am. For example, this morning, where I live, the temperature when I woke up at 8:00 was -15 degrees. The windchill was -31 degrees. I put shoes on and grabbed the food for the birds and squirrels that were waiting for their morning meal. Stepping outside, I was greeted by the arctic cold as it hit my face. I breathed in deeply and smiled…nothing is invigorating as a sub-zero day. Perusing Facebook as I sat down with my own morning meal, I was greeted by post after post of complaints about the weather…
“So tired of this snow and cold.”
“Is it almost summer? Are we even going to have a summer?”
“Looking forward to summer!”
You get the idea.
I get it…I understand now that the majority of people in this world prefer summer over winter. “Why would anyone love winter?” they ask. “The summer means we can be outside enjoying sunshine and family and picnics and beaches and…” They go on and on singing the praises of summer. For this winter lover, it can get almost nauseating. Here is why…
The winter has a beauty all its own. The sun shines brighter in the winter, especially as it glistens off a newly fallen snow. A new snow is pure white–no blemishes. The Psalmist asked God to wash him so he would be whiter than snow—he knew there are few things that can describe purity and cleanliness as well as a fresh blanket of pure white snow. Even the nighttime is brighter when a new fallen snow lays on the ground. Nothing beats the feeling of walking into a warm home from the cold outside. It feels so…cozy. It just isn’t the same walking into a cool house from a warm outside.
Winter is a time of rest. I previously wrote about the importance of the land resting underneath the cover of snow in winter. I won’t repeat the points from that entry, but I encourage you to scroll down a few entries and read it. Beyond the importance of rest for the land, though, is also the rest for the human soul that winter can provide. A farmer works long hours in his field during spring, summer and fall. There is plowing, planting, watering, monitoring and harvesting to be done in those months. There is also concern as storm clouds build on the horizon and the farmer worries if a hailstorm might come and attack his crop. In the winter, though, the farmer is able to rest and plan for the busy time that will come when the spring awakens the ground. It isn’t just the farmer, though, that benefits from the rest that winter brings. Winter allows any of us, if we are willing, to recharge our souls. The cold and wind chill that comes with winter and forces us to stay indoors more often also gives us time to spend on hobbies—reading books that feed the soul, knitting afghans that may be given away to elderly nursing home residents, playing on the floor with children or grandchildren, enjoying hot chocolate by the fireplace (or just on the couch with your spouse if you aren’t fortunate enough to have a fireplace), journaling, drawing, painting, baking…the list could go on. The cold winter months allow for comfort foods from the kitchen as family gathers around the dinner table, no one rushing to leave for soccer or some other outdoor activity. Weekend afternoons can be spent napping, snuggled under a warm blanket as the winds howl outside. Of course, I can’t forget to mention that it is in the colder months that families come together to celebrate the two top holidays in our country—Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Winter, like spring, summer, and fall, was created by God and is, therefore, beautiful. I cannot say that I love summer, but I can say that there are aspects of summer that are beautiful to me. I love the apple blossoms on the trees as they hold promise for delicious fruit. I love the sound of katydids in the trees on a summer afternoon. I love a good thunderstorm and the smell of rain. A field of fresh strawberries brings excitement to my soul.
Each season has elements of beauty in it. Too many people, though, do not take the time to stop and see the beauty in the snow covered terrain of winter. I challenge you today, if you are reading this and the view outside your window is white instead of green, to stop and thank God for the rest that winter time can bring. Thank Him for the refreshment found in the cold air as it hits your face and wakes you up. Thank Him for the time to spend indoors with those you love, whether that be human or animal. Thank Him for fireplaces and hot chocolate and movie nights and fleece blankets. But most of all, thank Him that he did not make our world all one color or all one temperature, but instead, chose to bless us with changing seasons.
I know I will always be in the minority as a lover of cold and snow and ice.
I’m okay with that.
You can call me crazy or insane. I will probably feel the same way about you come July when the heat index is over one hundred degrees and I am feeling like satan has taken over my part of the world. It is then that I will light my pine tree scented candle and allow my mind to drift to the winter months that will surely come around once again.