Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday Winter Thoughts

I haven't yet felt the romance the start of winter usually brings for me. Usually at the start of winter, I savor the feeling and sound of my boots crunching on the snow. I soak in the stillness and the smell that comes with colder weather and snow. I imagine winter evenings sipping hot cocoa in front of a fireplace, watching an old movie under a warm blanket. In my winter imaginings it's always "hot cocoa" and never "hot chocolate." I don't know why but I'm pretty sure hot cocoa is more romantic.

It's so much quieter in the winter and I love that. I walk down the street with my scarf pulled up over my mouth and part of my nose, and I think about stories I've read that paint nostalgic winter scenes. Like "The Dead" by James Joyce, which takes place in the winter and has such rich imagery, that it always comes to mind when my feet are crunching through the snow.

But though that story has come to mind for me several times already this winter, I haven't felt it. I haven't felt the feelings it usually evokes in me. I've been too busy to even pay much attention to the advent of winter. So far the only times I've noticed it is when it's been a nuisance, like when I was trying to get the youth to line up for and ride on the float in the Christmas parade over the weekend and they all complained about how cold they were most of the time. Or that night, when I was lying in bed trying to sleep but unable to because my lungs ached so much from breathing in the frigid air for hours earlier. Or when I was driving into work this morning and found my tires slipping on the icy roads. Or when it's completely dark at 5:00pm.

And already the winter competitiveness has started on Facebook. Posts like:

Person one: So cold on my walk to the bus this morning! It's only 20 degrees out! #brrrrr
Person two: It's only 8 degrees here - we WISH it were 20 degrees! #heatwave
Me (thinking): shut up.


Person one: So much snow today! Rough ride home from work! #10inchesofsnow
Person two: We had a foot and a half here! We couldn't leave the house! 10 inches sounds great!
Person three: Try living in (cold/arctic state)! We get 10 inches of snow every second of every day!
Me (thinking): shut up. #pleaseshutup

Facebook has turned people into perpetual one uppers and extreme weather brings them out more than anything.

Last night I met up with some of my oldest and dearest friends for a pre-holiday dinner. The restaurant was cozy and crowded. The staff had decorated it for Christmas adding to the overall feel of being in a special Christmas episode of Cheers (the tv show), with the snow billowing outside.

I started feeling a little of the winter warmth I hadn't felt yet.

On the way home, my friend told me that she's been trying to have a positive attitude about winter, and that it's working. I mentioned a poem that comes to mind for me in December:

I Heard a Bird Sing
by Oliver Herford

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

"We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,”
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.

It's always a comfort when you just can't muster any romantic feelings for winter to remember spring.

Happy wintry Wednesday!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for finding the poem! :)

violet50 said...

I like watching warm movies under old blankets. I love the poem! And hot cocoa.