Snow

It seems everyone around me, this time of year, talks about how they want to flee the north for the warmth of a southern climate. On a bone-chilling morning, when a stiff breeze dries out my nostrils, and my eyebrows feel like a roof-ledge dripping with icicles, I can momentarily understand their desire for warmth.

But I think I would miss the blankets of snow. They make the outdoors look pristine. And the cool, dry air, that doesn’t permit any part of your body to sweat for even a moment, makes my skin feel freshly-showered all day long. Contrast that to stepping out of a lukewarm shower on a hot, muggy, July morning, where you spend the entire day feeling as though you’re covered in sweat. And all your clothes, no matter how freshly they have come out of the drier, feel damp the moment you put them on.

And there is a peaceful silence that comes with a winter night. The snow muffles any distance noises. The animals have all gone south, or gone to sleep, deep in their burrows. The humans are all inside by their fires. And so long as the air is still, you can stand outside, perk up your ears, and hear absolutely nothing. The nights are bright from the starlight bouncing off the snow. It is hard to beat the sense of peace that comes from a winter walk in the silent night.

The weekday mornings are another story. – Where cars idle in driveways in an attempt to warm up for the frazzled commuters. – Where traffic is confounded by formerly two-lane roads turned into, due to the piling snow banks, one and half-lane roads. Business parking lots are tighter since the piled-snow demands its own parking spaces, off in the corner of the lot. And a mere inch of precipitation can turn an already stressful commute into a deadly one.

So I suppose I can somewhat understand my neighbors who wish to disappear from this place. But for me, since I have no commute, and if it’s bad weather I can afford to just stay home from classes, I quite enjoy the indoor, winter months when I can indulge in reading, movie watching and video-game playing without thinking I’m wasting opportunities to be out in the sun.

I do think, in the future, I will use mid-January through February as an opportunity to road-trip and camp through the southern states. But I don’t think I could permanently go without experiencing the chilling depths of winter. Plus, it’s too much fun watching the ailing work-a-holics force themselves, against all good sense and without necessity, to drive through life-threatening road conditions while I watch out the window from the side of a warm stove.

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