It’s not even 5 pm, but the day has been dreary and mizzly so it’s nearly dark outside. Temperatures are trending down toward freezing, and the wind is gusting making it feel even colder. I know many people dread this time of year–the cold, the slick roads, the darkness make everything harder.
But I like the transition from fall to winter. First off, NO BUGS. I know bugs are important to the ecosystem, but my nearest neighbors are bovines. I get all the insect companionship I want by the end of summer. Secondly, I sleep better when it’s cold. This might be a circadian rhythm thing; might have to do with the house being quieter when doors and windows are closed; might be because exercising in cooler weather isn’t as awful as exercising in summer’s heat, so I’m more tuckered out.
Thirdly, the long dark evenings mean I get more writing done. I think the sun going down earlier prompts me to leave the danged law office at a reasonable hour, whereas in summer, I’ll still be there at 8 pm, pretending I’m getting stuff done. Fourthly, the holidays approach, and that’s a lovely time of year. We think of others more naturally then, and when is that a bad idea?
Fifthly, changing seasons give my life a sense of moving forward–toward something–and I like that. My parents lived in San Diego, and while I know there are seasons in that latitude (June has a lot of morning fog, rain comes (if ever) in December and January), but the seasons where I live are dramatic enough to create a strong impression. When the first snow hits, when the first crocus comes up, when the first lightning bug is spotted, things are changing.
This has been challenging year for many of us, and the changing seasons remind me: Onward. We have only this one life in which to create a meaningful legacy and light a few candles.
How does the onset of winter find you? Ready to read for three months straight? In a funk? Catalogue shopping like a boss? To one commenter, I’ll send a box of The Highland Chocolatier’s signature truffles and pralines. They will take a while to get to you, but are well worth the wait.