It's 80 degrees outside and I really just can't fathom how we got here, when the world was just this winter white two weeks ago. How the wind howled and snow was a way of life clear from December to March.
People say the winter months are the dead months, where the trees curl inside themselves to sleep, the grass is gone, and the flowers don't bloom and just die a brown and withered death.
I've felt how the cold can just blow right through you as if this skin of yours was just pure transparent. I know how sometimes you can never get warm, how your fingers just want to break off from the cold and your cheeks will never feel the sun proper again.
I've shoveled snow from dawn till dusk, sometimes I've shoveled the same sidewalks in the same places three times a day, and my legs numbed clear to the bone and it takes an hour to feel them right again.
Yeah, sometimes you just feel dead yourself at the end of a winter day, and you get so tired of being snowed in and worrying about your driveway and getting to work or if your sister will get home safe tonight.
But with all of that, I still love winter.
It may be dead in some respects, but it's alive in so many places all the other seasons couldn't be.
Have you ever seen a winter sunset on the prairie? How the world just turns these shades of blue you can't capture after the sun is gone?
Have you ever heard the silence of a winter afternoon? Heard the hush of your breath into the cold air? Or lifted your face to the winter sunlight?
Have you ever just let the cold wind blow, do its worst, and just let it be itself without wishing it away?
Do you know what country roads look like after a snowfall when the shadows fall long and the dirt shows through beneath? Do know the yellow glowing lights of a car lonely on an empty road through blue-white darkness?
Do you know what blue-white darkness is? It is the color of the evening just before pitch black on a winter night. Just enough light to see the trees, but never enough light to capture it. They are colors you can only ever find in winter. And with colors like that, how can winter be all dead?
Because when the sun sets over a white land the reds, oranges, purples and pinks are a fiery color they never are in summer. The clouds are kingdoms they never are except in winter, and the world is a quiet it never knows except in winter when the warm lights of home hum through the darkness, promise a rest and comfort you never know except in winter.
Have you ever known the complete and utter joy of seeing your windmill nearly buried in snow? Do you know just wonderful this can be?
Have you ever seen how land dissolves into sky and they become each other? How maybe you're not really on land at all but maybe a land that is the sky, too?
Have you ever known the goodness of eating gingerbread cookies, warm out of the oven, on a snow day when work's cancelled and its just you with your people in your home? Then you'd know warm cookies and that glass of cold milk, they just taste different in winter. They're a taste you don't get in summer.
Don't stop loving summer.
But don't go believing winter is all dead when you could get all this.