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Winter

Winter.

Winter is tough. Bad things happen in winter: pipes freeze, people slip on the ice, those extra pounds creep in. Sure, it's temporary, and spring follows winter and there's new growth, and so on.

But, here I am, looking back over my shoulder at another winter gone past. I'm almost at the end. It's like standing in a hallway where you're not quite to the end where it opens out into the living room. Spring is coming. I know it's coming, since I could hear the chirps and croaks of the frogs in the creek behind our house. I've seen the small start of buds on the trees, and the birds starting to stake out their claims on the birdhouse in our back yard. Speaking of which, we should consider putting up another one of those or two, so there's not so much fighting.

Spring.

New meanings. New growth. The more I find myself looking down the barrel of spring, the more I sort of want to stay in winter. Spring brings new expectations of joy and wonder. Granted, with a child in our house, there are a million joys and wonders that fill our year. Some are noticed, some are not. I wish we could capture them all and jar them. But then again, where would we store them?

Spring means getting out, stretching out our limbs. It means having to shake off the layers of blankets and fur that the winter required. It means shaving my legs, even above the knee.

I'm not sure I'm ready. Certainly, I want to sit in the sun and feel kissed by the warmth. Yes, I want to wake up to a day full of light, or at least on its way to being light, rather than to wake in the dark and force myself to see the day.

But I like the cozy feel of winter. I love the coffee and the soup and the sweaters and the blankets. I am comforted by the solidity of being bunkered in for the cold. Spring is wisp like and delicate. Winter is stolid and steady. It may bluster and blow, but it never promised to be calm or quiet. While there are big storms that can cause damage, that can make people remember the last big storm, winter is steady and constant. And winter is required for the changes that come with spring.

Spring and summer are the stars of the show, with their glamour and their flash. They're fun. They're full of vim and vigor. They're a fling. Spring and summer are those girls who throw great parties. Winter pays the bill and cleans up afterward.

As much maligned as it may be, I like winter. I think while the kids are off dancing and celebrating their youth, winter and I will sit, listening to the public radio station and drinking our coffee and contemplating the quiet.

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