By Tracy Emrick, Countryside Initiative Coordinator
Wilted and translucent the last of the squash vines wait to be yanked from the damp, cold ground. Flocks of Red-Winged Blackbirds darken the morning skies as they push further and further south, and the trees; shades of autumn slowly piling below them as their barren branches reach to the grey skies.
If this sounds dark and depressing, perhaps even foreboding, it is. I resent Fall! Like a stubborn child with a pouting chin and arms crossed, I resent Fall! There is no real reason behind my stance, it is merely the fact that Fall presumes Winter, and I will not go quietly into winter. “What’s wrong with Winter?” you ask. The glistening blanket of snow tucked so lovely around the trees with bright red cardinals decorating the branches; hot cocoa; sled riding and sleigh bells; the holidays; food and family coming together; how could anyone possibly hate winter? That’s a very good question.
Do I really hate winter? No, I don’t suppose I do. But the cold, I hate the cold. the numb fingers and toes, the scratchy layers and a runny nose, the ice scrapers and snow shovels, the grey slushy roads and the 5 AM breath-taking descent to the toilet seat; the cold, the bone-chilling, energy-zapping cold is what I hate.
Although, when it’s cold outside, there are those days when the sun shines and my dogs and I crunch across the glistening snow through the woods with our breath, like steam engines, taking us along. And when it’s cold outside, there are those nights, when I’m curled up with a steaming cup of coffee and a seed catalog dreaming of next season. When it’s cold outside, there are those times when the fireplace crackles and the conversation lingers, the bears sleep, the bugs disappear and Spring begins to bloom from just beneath the snow. There are those moments, when it’s cold outside, that I remember all these little things, just in time to remind myself that maybe I really don’t resent Fall, and I probably do like winter, and what the heck, I guess I can deal with the cold.