The days are darker, colder. And if I squint, I can see the New England winter in the distance, not quite bearing down on me, but marching inexorably closer. I cleaned out the shed today, sweeping out the detritus of the last few months and moving the snow shovels to the front. The snow is still a couple of months away, but something in the air makes it feel closer. Maybe it’s just how dark it is.
It could get me down. And on some days, it does. Most days it doesn’t though. While I could wish for more sun or maybe to be a little warmer sometimes, the truth is that there’s too much to love about the next few months not to feel anticipation as well. For instance, I love the fall and winter holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas. These are the holidays that bring light and warmth when people need it most. I think that, if I were to craft a perfect moment for me, it would probably involve relaxing around a glowing fireplace with my family, eating chocolate pecan pie with homemade whipped cream, and sipping hot cider with perhaps some butterscotch schnapps in it.
What do all of these have in common? They all require that it be cold out. I have no desire to drink hot cider in July. Even less would I enjoy crowding around a fire when it’s 90 degrees out. The fact is that I associate the most warm, comforting things in my life with cold weather. I mean, is there a better feeling in the world than snuggling inside a down comforter when it’s cold out? Fine, I can think of several better things too, but this one is right up there.
Also, for whatever reason, I’m incredibly food motivated. That includes drink. These upcoming months are totally the months of eating rich food. I love the spread of pies on Thanksgiving and the melting fondue of New Years.
I love drinking coffee on Christmas morning, champagne on New Years day, and hot cocoa with creme de menthe during snow storms.
I love fall leaves and campfires when it’s actually cool enough to enjoy them.
I love how peaceful the world feels when it’s muffled by freshly fallen snow. I love snowshoeing. I love that moment when your phone beeps at 5:30 in the morning, and you just know that it’s a school cancellation. I love snow days!!! I love how excited my little girls are going to be to ride in a sled or follow animal tracks in the snow.
By March, I’ll be done with snow and cold. By the time spring is rolling in, I’ll want nothing more than to welcome it. I’ll get as excited as everyone else by the first crocuses, the first buds on our apples trees, the first warm day. There’s this moment each year, when you hear the spring peepers for the first time, that you know spring is really here. Soon I’ll be looking forward to that too. But not yet.