Waking up to Winter

It’s funny how much a snowfall can change everything.

All Fall I’ve been slowly grieving the end of summer. As the days got shorter, the nights cooler, the landscape shifting into sepias, you could almost hear the wailing nooooo! coming from deep inside me.

So you’d think when I woke up to snow this morning it would be the last devastating blow to my clinging to summer. Not so. I was really excited, thought everything was fluffy and beautiful. Even in the throws of a headcold I got out my snowboots and toque and headed out for an adventure down along the escarpment – including using my squishy corduroy backside to slow my sliding down the ravine I had to descend to retrieve the sunglasses I’d dropped (same philosophy as snow tires: something softer, wider surface area, better traction than just my boots).

The light filtering through the trees, thin and horizontal even in the mid afternoon, had up ’til today seemed like a disappointment, a failure to be summery and warming and strong. Through the leafless trees, glinting off the snow, it finally seemed somehow right. That slow decline I’d been railing against all Fall wasn’t the end of Summer, it was the start of winter.

And I realized as I walked back to my car, that’s running a parallel with my life. An inability to let go and accept a dormancy, a period of darkness. I’ve been clinging to a summer that’s long past, a period of bright activity and lush growth that has already moved into something else, whether I thought it should or not.

It’s not been a peaceful Autumn in my soul. But waking up to winter, metaphorically as well as meteorologically, is gonna help.

8 thoughts on “Waking up to Winter

  1. Well, it is not yet bleak mid-winter, and I am not good King Wenceslas, it still looked pretty dreary out there . . . until I took my 2.5 year old grandson to daycare. He ran around happily on the skiff of snow on the driveway, and then insisted that he walk from the truck through the 1.5 cm when we got there. His laughter and joy with the snow picked up my flagging spirits for at least until I got home.


    1. Part of the reason that I love my job is that I get to play with kids and rediscover the kid in me. I think that is why my life is so joyful most days. Watching kids delight in simple pleasures like that first skiff of snow is a wonder, but actually playing with them reminds us what joy is.


  2. I use to hate this time of year, waiting for winter to actually hit while the darkness grew and enveloped time. But after hearing Pinkola’s version of the Persephone myth in Women who Run with Wolves, I’ve grown to appreciate the idea of winter and the darkness. It has become a time to re-learn the pleasure of quiet solitude and how the part of the life/seasonal cycle of hibernation prepares us for spring and new creation.

    It’s a good reminder to stop and reflect on the inner world, work on the self, prepare for another step in the journey. It’s the perfect time to cozy under a blanket and hunker in and let the world hurry past while we can take deep breaths, and renew ourselves.


  3. I am still waiting for a first heavy wet snow to thickly coat all silhouettes. Are the sun sparkles off snow (or eyelashes) truer than any other colours? Or are they exact energies of emission from the fusion of various atoms in our star? Or?

    Well, I can’t control the weather. Maybe I need to go to the mountains to properly appreciate winter’s promise?


  4. Perhaps this will be my snow. 2 am. A pickup truck, an old van, 2 cars. One chocolate black length in the gray orange water. 1-2-3-4 splashes. Freight train. Turn. Prickling face, shrinking peripheral view in the dark. Ping yellow lights flash slate stretch of road. But only streetlights show the silent snowing.

    Mammals, 1 and 2.

    Now wish thee green cambium now wish me sleep,


    1. I love this jyanti! Such a poetic description of your wintery night, I can feel every movement of it. Nice!

      …and the last line, had to look up cambium, but now I get it and love the parallel! Brilliant!


  5. Right on. I can’t imagine better Calgary snow than this. The great thing about poverty lite is that I don’t have a sidewalk and I don’t have a car – so 10 cm is a joy with no ambivalence. Nya nya.



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