I once loved winter. It used to be my favourite season. It contained my favourite holidays,Christmas and Valentine’s Day (otherwise known as my birthday). The crisp fallen snow on a lawn made everything look so peaceful and quiet and beautiful. And crunching in that snow for the very first time to create footprints made me feel brand new – an explorer walking where no one else had ever walked. I was creating something new on a pure white canvas with only the soles of my shoes. That’s one small step for a girl, one giant leap for her imagination. Winter meant warm sweaters and extra quilts and more nights with hot chocolate.
Becoming an adult ruins everything.
I have begrudgingly started to dislike winter as I’ve grown. Snow in university rarely meant a snow day and instead promised discomfort on my walking commute to class. Winter after my graduation meant walking through the city streets in cold and bad weather as snow days became essentially obsolete in this adult working life. Winter as an adult no longer made me feel all warm and cozy inside with the cost of heat constantly looming over me. Winter with a car meant emptying our pockets to put on the winter tires. It meant cleaning off our car and defrosting windshields on frigid mornings. It meant driving through dangerous conditions to get to daycare and to show up for the paycheque. And as of this year, our first year in our new house, it has meant all of that plus shovelling. All of that, plus broken furnaces and empty oil tanks.
The snow is all but gone outside. I’m hopeful that we won’t need to scrape the windshield again this season, let alone shovel. Still, I feel its heaviness. I feel the chill and the weight of snow on top of me, as if I’ve been laying on the cold, frozen ground all winter and have been erased by the snowfall, waiting for a thaw that does not come.
I’m struggling to find signs of spring.
There are flurries in the long term forecast. Temperatures hover around freezing, taunting with the promise of dropping. And I wonder why humans don’t simply hibernate for the cold months because I wouldn’t mind hiding under my covers until the temperatures stay above freezing for good.
I went out for a walk yesterday looking for signs of spring. Maybe the calendar was working against me. Yesterday was still winter. Today is transition. Tomorrow is spring. Blessed,wished-for spring.
The snow was gone but nothing else indicated spring’s imminence. No buds on trees. No shoots bursting through the ground. No birds chirping in the trees. No green anywhere. No colour.
Spring is coming. I know it is. The calendar says so. The radio says so. Logically, I know it to be so.
I don’t see any signs of it though. Not yet. But I promise, I’m looking.