Midwestern winters in the United states are the kind I know. Some complain about it, joke about it, say winter was made to escape and generally dread it once January 2 arrives. I have been complicit in complaining about winter. Mostly though, perhaps because my escape is the comfort of home, I don’t mind. Winter indoors is cozy. Soups and stews and comfort foods ease the chilly weather. Hot hibiscus tea, with it’s rosey red color and sweet warming taste cheers the spirit and the body. (And is lovely hot or iced in the summer, too.) https://www.gourmet-coffee.com/tea/onecup-redelicious-hibiscus-blend.html OR https://www.traditionalmedicinals.com/products/hibiscus/ are nice. Of course it wouldn’t be winter without a cup of hot cocoa now and then, marshmallows optional. Maybe I’m an anomaly, but I need four seasons to be whole.
Walking outdoors in winter offers time for contemplation and a chance to get away from the current never-ending news cycle. The bracing cold keeps one moving. The snow on pines, the pale winter sky- fading into a vast white landscape encourage stillness. There is a purity about a winter walk in fresh fallen snow that makes me happy. The brisk pace and the bite of wind on my face is its own sort of personal endurance test. A feeling of satisfaction accompanies a walker in winter that summer cannot match.
Friends say they would happily live without winter. People age and move to places boasting all year summer climates. Don’t begrudge them their happiness. In conversation with those who’ve flow their snowy coops I hear about what I’m missing and how wonderful it is to not need a winter coat. To never shovel snow and be outdoors all year long with hardly more than a jacket. In theory it’s tempting. But I’d miss all of the above and so much more. There are no snow days in warmer climates. No reasons to curl up with a blanket and a book, dogs and cats cuddling on either side. No reason for a spouse to work from home because the roads are impassable. It takes winter to appreciate the crocuses that will pop up soon; those harbingers of spring. The pussy willows won’t be far behind. Meanwhile the snow sparkles outside my window and tea is waiting.