How Winter Wakes Us Up


If it’s autumn’s beauty and vibrant, ever-changing nature that perks us up after hot summers, where we slowly maneuver our way through the scorching sun, then it’s winter that really smacks us awake. Sip on a cup of strongly caffeinated black tea on a lazy morning – that jolt is winter’s aura. We’re alive. We’re here. We’re breathing. It’s as if all the seasons culminate to this end of the year time frame, where the cold surges through our veins, and we have no choice but to become aware of what’s around us.

We’re aware of the bare tree branches and our smoky breaths from the frigid temperatures. Sometimes, the early afternoon light illuminates these desolate trees and emptiness never seems so lovely, so appealing. The mere chance of snow delicately covering what we see offers a pertinent hope, along with a feeling that anything is possible, that nothing is too crazy.

Our closets are packed with wool and leather, and more importantly, our layers of clothing serve as insulation – literal armor for what we’ll face in the months ahead. Moments of discomfort, stress, sadness, insecurity, and fear are already cushioned, already protected by winter’s foundation.

And then there’s jovial spirit. Joy to the world. Deck the halls with boughs of holly. Holiday cheer is infectious. Smiles are genuinely plastered onto our faces, because the gorgeous tree is situated in Rockefeller Center, beautiful lights are on display, brightening our sidewalks and casting an inner glow, and friends and family chat about baking cherry pies and decorating gingerbread houses. Old traditions may continue to prosper or be discarded; new ones may ignite another path. We can create and cultivate memories whenever and wherever we wish. A particular innocence is retained, and we recall why December is so revered. Repeat the sounding joy. Repeat the sounding joy.

We will observe. We make note of the people we want to sit beside on New Year’s Eve, and we begin to know who we want to secure our warmth from, physically and emotionally. Who do we want to hug in that fuzzy sweater by the fireplace? Who do we seek out via phone or digital chat when we’re alone, shivering in our room?

We may become both paralyzed and rejuvenated by the chilled air, and we long for heavy conversation – conversations that last and minutes that stand still. We’re not going anywhere right then. We’re alive. We’re here. We’re breathing.

image – akzidenzsetzer