Tuesday, January 5, 2016

ice and snow

I am not a fan of winter: ice, snow, cold, and more cold. Yes, I was born and raised in Alaska and lived there the majority of my life. People think that means I must like winter or at least be used to it. I'm sorry. Extended time in dark winter does not make a person like it. It could be just the opposite. My father-in-law and I used to dread the signs of impending winter in Alaska: when the fireweed blooms at the top of the stock, when termination dust shows up on the mountain tops. We'd call each other, naming the signs, dreading the oncoming winter together.

And, after two years ago this week when I slipped on ice and ended up with a smashed wrist and (ultimately) three surgeries over 4 months to resolve the issue, I'm even more negative about winter. I walk very carefully and drive carefully and dread going when it's slick. Our house is on a hill, on the very spot where cars seem to spin out (going up) or start the slide (going down), so I know the sounds of slick before I even look out the window. I dread the big piles of dirty snow that get plowed up along the sidewalks and then turn to ice as the days warm and cool. It's all yuck to me.

But then there are moments of beauty in winter that make me pause and consider the other side, too. The shimmering icicles. The moon on the fresh snow. The loveliness of snow falling softly through the glow of streetlamps.

And so I try to remember that there is beauty around me, even during the winter. And there is beauty in people I might not normally like. . . and in so many other aspects of life. I can find beauty if I look for it.

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