Winterless Winter

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Today’s front page of The Washington Post was graced with a photo of cherry trees, in full bloom, along Connecticut Avenue. Temperatures have been in the 50s and 60s this month, and save for a snow squall that lasted all of ten minutes last week, it has been a mostly winterless winter. At the close of January, I have my hopes set high for a February that brings snow, and lots of it.

When crocus and daffodils start breaking soil in January, I think to myself, “Hold on you guys, not yet!” The cold switch will eventually get turned back on, and they won’t make it to see spring. The unseasonable warmth seems to throw everything off kilter.

I do not like warm winters. It just doesn’t feel right to go hurtling straight from fall to spring without a good shot of the cold that is normal for this part the world at this time of year. Doesn’t everything need a rest? Time to slow down and regain strength? Isn’t it good for the ground to lie still now, for all that we expect it to produce next summer? And, isn’t it good for people too, to embrace the season’s slower pace?

Don’t get me wrong, I like an occasional, unseasonably warm winter day here and there. They open up the senses and lift our collective spirits. But winter deserves its time too, and winter should feel like winter. I am ready for it, with hopes held high.


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