Ottawa winters are often rather indecisive at the beginning. The temperature drops below zero and we might get a few inches of snow, but a few days later we’re back up above melting point and the grass looks green again. I hear many complaints about this time of year – and of the months of cold and snow to come – but for the record, here are five things I love about winter.
1) Snow. When I was growing up in Nepal, snow was something seen on distant mountain tops and in picture books. As an adult, I don’t think I’ve outgrown that childhood longing for blankets of snow transforming the world into a winter wonderland. Sure, I’ve met the less attractive sides of snow – shovelling walkways, scraping off cars, etc. But these can never overshadow the joy in seeing sparkling coats of white draped on trees, houses and the ground.
2) Firelight and candlelight. I light candles year-round, but as winters chill creeps in and darkness falls early, I love having a flickering candle in my window reflecting on the glass. I love watching flames dance in fireplaces and lit candles. So immediately cozy.
3) Walking in a winter wonderland. Walking is one of my favourite things to do no matter what the weather – but there is something rather magical about walking through snow, especially when soft flakes are falling. While living in Saskatchewan, I also came to value winter-ready gear and clothing and enjoy the exhilaration of braving biting cold when I know that I’m dressed for it.
4) Christmas. One of the things that makes the onset of winter extra enjoyable is that it brings with it the promise of Christmas. I love decorating the house for the holidays, getting a tree and filling our house with the scent of pine. I love the glowing lights on houses in the neighbourhood, ornaments hung from trees on the lawn. It’s easy to get discouraged by the commercialization of the holiday season – but it’s also easy to turn the focus back to my own home and my own reasons to celebrate.
5) And finally I can wear and share all the things I knit year round.