January 3 . . . this is winter, right? I do love the sun and the heat, and I am not a big fan of freezing temperatures, but I did grow up here in Michigan. Winter time always conjured up words like blustery, sub-zero, wind chill factor, snow flurries, ice storm, ski conditions, snow days, etc. And although my body is never truly prepared for the arctic blast, my mind is feeling out of sorts with this warm weather.
I let my dog outside this morning, sun shining, grass still green, and something did not feel right.
Winter has always been a quiet and peaceful season for me. I slide into a state of hibernation both within myself and within my home, my cave.
Some may call me crazy for actually liking the winter season (and I can't say I actually like it - it forces me to let it in and live with it), for it represents death, gloom and a sense of aloneness for many. But for me, it is a time to slow down and rest, to take inventory of my life, regroup and then recharge in time for the arrival of spring. There are no high expectations during the winter. If one doesn't like to ski or sled or ice-skate, that is acceptable. If one does not want to venture out into the ice and snow and cold, it is understandable. We live at the mercy of the weather conditions (which takes the pressure off of having to make so many choices throughout the rest of the year). And we all have something worthy to collectively complain about if we so desire.
The winter, ironically, brings us together - the commonality of our feelings of separateness. We come together to help each other during the snow storms, we care about the elderly living alone, the homeless living in the cold streets. We shop and shovel or blow snow for neighbors who can't get out (I don't think I've ever seen anyone just mow a neighbor's lawn as a favor). No pressure to keep up the yard, keep up a tan or look good in a bathing suit. Just throw a big sweater over the extra pounds, curl up by a warm fire, wrap up in a down comforter, embrace a hot cup of coffee and read a classic (See Stewart's blog).
Now, when this winter weather kicks in, as I'm sure it will (this anticipation is worse than the plummeting temperatures and icy conditions will ever be) please . . . I don't want to be reminded about how great (I said) the winter can be. The pain and the hate are part of my process.