Topic: Winter

Goodbye to Winter

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All photos/art by Rebecca Rideout

The air is suddenly moist and soft, and the new smell of dirt is intoxicating. The color and quality of light is more urgent when I wake up, when I walk the block scouting for tips of green emerging from hay-colored lawns. It’s whiter and brighter, and it feels as though it’s here to stay.

For me, spring came as a bit of a shock this year. There I was, stomping around in my sheepskin boots, or curling up with my down comforter in a snowstorm, and now I’m stumbling along in blinding sunlight. I dig around in my closet for sandals and sunblock and all of the things that make a great summer. For some folks, it’s a long-awaited change, but I’m a bit unwilling to immediately dive outdoors, never to return indoors or to unfinished winter projects.

Don’t get me wrong–I welcome this spring with an overwhelming amount of joy, a breed of happiness born out of surprise and unexpected fun, like having a spontaneous dinner guest. But before I become completely immersed in spring cleaning and summer plans, I want to pause–just for a second–and say goodbye to winter.

Goodbye to the soft yellow light that crept in through the windows at midday, slanting across the pile of books and the cup of tea, across the white, untouched fields outside. So long to the deep satisfaction of a hot meal, to nothing better to do than to watch snowflakes fall softly and silently, to the cave-like instinct we feed when we pull the covers over our heads at night to make ourselves a nest.

Farewell to the sensation of stepping into a snowbank with the texture of a cloud, to twigs coated perfectly with layers of ice, reflecting the light a million times in the treetops. A final goodnight to the season of introspection, to the time of puttering about the house without the riotous calls of birds and barbeques luring us away.

Now there’s pressure to be outdoors, away from our dens, to clean them and to be reborn as active, dirty creatures of the sun. But for one more moment, one more afternoon of sweatpants and darkness, I want to remain a creature of the couch. Let’s linger a moment longer and give winter its proper burial before it’s gone in a flash of sunlight and fresh air.


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