Today, while outside for a fire drill, I noticed that it is almost December. It is cold. Frigid, almost. Considering that the temperature on Thanksgiving was a balmy 65 degrees, today’s high of 40 degrees seems practically Arctic. I notice the red noses on my students and the I’m-freezing-cold-can-we-please-go-in-now(whyisthistakingsolong) hoppity-dance they are doing to keep warm. The leaves are no longer on the trees and the ground is cold and hard; finally frozen, brown , and dreary. As I look around, the cold air on my skin and the chattering teeth I hear behind me remind me that Christmas is drawing nearer and winter is here for the long haul. This gives me the idea that winter and cold will be surrounding me for a while and I should get used to it.
Some people view winter as the dead time of the year, the low point in the wheel of seasons. Not so, says I. Look around you- the heartbeat of winter beats all around us. Notice the deer hoof prints in the newly fallen snow and imagine the small family scampering across the backyard in the dusky twilight. See the scarlet red flash of a cardinal as it alights from the snowy ground. Listen to the ‘chirp chirp’ of the winter birds as they eat at the birdfeeder. Taste the hot cocoa, with whipped cream and peppermint, as it passes over your lips. Feel the nip of the cold air as it chills your nose. Feel the warmth of the fleece gloves and scarf that you wrap yourself in to shield against the cold. See the snow-white moon in the navy blue sky, with the lone bright star shining in the distance.
Winter is beautiful. Stop, look around, appreciate it. Soak in the cold air and the bright sunlight. Relax under a blanket next to a warm, crackling fire. The wheel of seasons has been turning since time began and will keep turning when our time is up; now is our time to be a part of it.