Winter again

It’s snowing already. This morning I cleaned a layer three inches deep off of my car, dusting it onto the ground and my coat. I wore gloves and a scarf and boots and my fingers were numb by the time I sat in the driver’s seat and headed to work.

Yesterday, walking home in the snow, I thought back to my winter in New York — when I first arrived and explored in the snow and sludge, walked to job interviews on icy toes, sniffed my runny nose as I waited for the bus with other freezing strangers.

It seems like winter was just here — in the past year, I had more of it than I did spring, summer, or fall — and here it comes again, creeping up like a child playing, “Gotcha!”

Winter, unlike the others, is a season that demands attention. You can’t act like it’s not there, because if you do you’ll freeze to death or fall on ice whose existence you denied.

Spring, summer, fall, they sweep through quietly, doing their work of beautifying the earth without garnering much attention, but winter works loudly, bring a hush only when it pauses to show us how it’s blanketed the world, softened all the edges, and turned what was dead and rotten into things of beauty.

Winter alone makes us stop at the window and wonder what is to become of us in this ever-changing world. And for that, despite the numb digits and inevitable sniffles and frightening roads, I am grateful.

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