I love winter. While driving in the lake effect blizzards we get here in Cleveland is not something I enjoy, walking and playing in the snow always bring joy. And nothing beats a steaming mug of real cocoa while watching fluffy snowflakes swirl and shimmer as they fall from a night sky. I appreciate these quiet, simple pleasures more now in midlife.
I’m grateful for the slowing down that seems to come with winter. Oddly, I seem to write more, get more of my personal things done, without the pressure of sunny summer days. Long, hot days beckon with constant whispers that I am missing out on all the warm-weather frolicking. Winter’s freezing temperatures and snowy cloak give quiet, convenient permission for solitude and reflection. And snuggling with a sweetie can linger a while, without a schedule of activities and engagements that can fill up summer’s long days.
So here’s to you, winter, my friend.
By Claude McKay (1889-1948)
Stay, season of calm love and soulful snows!
There is a subtle sweetness in the sun,
The ripples on the stream's breast gaily run,
The wind more boisterously by me blows,
And each succeeding day now longer grows.
The birds a gladder music have begun,
The squirrel, full of mischief and of fun,
From maples' topmost branch the brown twig throws.
I read these pregnant signs, know what they mean:
I know that thou art making ready to go.
Oh stay! I fled a land where fields are green
Always, and palms wave gently to and fro,
And winds are balmy, blue brooks ever sheen,
To ease my heart of its impassioned woe.
May your December find you smiling, whatever the weather is where you are. I leave you with these photos from a snowy December trip to Iceland four years ago. And, as a cherry on top, a naughty-but-nice little sign-off. Happy holidays to all! ❤
Poem credit: From Harlem Shadows (New York, Harcourt, Brace and company, 1922) by Claude McKay. This poem is in the public domain. McKay was born in Jamaica, and wrote from his perspective as a Black man in the United States.
All images are my own.
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