I’m not sure why I enjoy winter as much as I do. Driving on icy roads can be a royal pain, and with the way that I drive, life-threatening. I hate walking across my college campus when it’s below-freezing temperatures, and the wind cuts through me like a knife.
But every year when the snow starts falling, I can’t help getting excited.
Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up in Buffalo, New York, where frigid, snowy winters are a mainstay not just in the region’s climate, but our own culture. Up here, we take pride in our Viking approach to winter.
Or maybe it all has to do with Christmas. For me, it isn’t a true Christmas unless there’s snow on the ground and wearing a jacket is necessary to go outside. Seeing evergreen trees, poinsettias and festive lights without any of that fluffy white stuff is just plain weird to me.
But that wouldn’t explain why I still enjoy winter after December 25th. Because whether it’s December, January or even February, I love a good, raucous snowball fight with my friends. I love going out to the pond to play some ice hockey or simply to skate around for an afternoon; and no, heading to an indoor ice rink doesn’t cut it like going to the frozen pond does.
Heck, I went to the Buffalo Zoo the other day—when it was 38 degrees outside and we hada good four inches of snow—and I had as just as much fun I the time I visited over the summer. In fact, many of the animals seemed to prefer the chilly temperature as opposed to Buffalo’s infamous summer humidity. The River Otters and Sea Lions all went for a swim like it was no big deal, while guys like the Snow Leopard and Spectacled Bear were far more enjoyable to watch stalk through the snow than it was to see them lay around and pant back in July.
Even though it chills me to the bone no matter how much I bundle up, I feel a sense of calm when I’m outside during the winter. The early nights are one of my least favorite parts of the autumn season, but once we get snow falling here in Buffalo, the pitch-black nights become gorgeous. The snow definitely brightens the night, and sky often takes on a lavender or indigo shade that looks like it’s been painted by some artist. I often stand outside on winter nights just to take in the glistening white scenery; it helps me relax when I want to meditate or pray for a while.
Especially if there’s a light snowfall going on. Sure, blizzards are never fun to be stuck in the middle of, but when there’s a gentle dusting of snow coming down, there’s nothing more serene.
What I’m kinda getting at is that snow is just plain pretty, if I haven’t already given the hint.
Maybe one day I’ll take up skiing or snowboarding, and then the snow and cold will actually benefit me. Until then, I still have my own reasons why I enjoy winter, even if those reasons don’t make complete sense.