It's November in Texas, which means only one thing. Actually, it means several things. One: the semester is almost over (praise God). Two: Thanksgiving. And three: it's cold.
I hate the cold. Hate. It. Some of my friends hold that when it's cold, you can wrap yourself in blankets and/or layers and thereby stay warm. This is false. I am consistently freezing, and amount of jackets and layers can change this. The other day, I performed in our weekly Voice Area Recital, so I wrote a dress to school. No tights. By the time I made it to my first class, my legs were a different color than the rest of me, as well as numb. It was not fun.
Usually the season from November to March (sometimes mid-April) is pretty miserable for me. I tend to dramatize: I'll never be warm again! My poor, dear friends have to listen to me complain about the cold all the time. It's been fairly mild this month, so far. I can feel winter, though -- real winter -- coming on, and I am bracing myself for it. I bring my North Face with me everywhere in preparation.
The other day, though, I read an article for The Fast Company called The Norwegian Secret To Enjoying A Long Winter. In this article, author Laura Vanderkram discusses the outlook on winter in snowy Norway. I think Texas winter is bad (it is) -- these Scandinavian winters are far worse, featuring intense cold and deep snows. But what gave me pause was the way these Norwegian people react to winter: they rejoice in it.
They anticipate it.
They look forward to it every year.
There are a lot of things that we all enjoy about the winter months: sitting by the fire. Warm blankets. Scarves (I just got a new blanket scarf. It's green plaid and I am in love). We all adore spending time with family and friends, the general cheer of the holiday season, drinking warm things, and all-around coziness. There are also all kinds of outdoor pursuits that become available with the advent of ice and snow -- I know my brothers enjoy these.
The Norwegians choose to look forward to winter for all these reasons. They make the purposeful decision to enjoy winter because they can do all of these things that they love during that season.
This winter, I want to have that outlook.
There are a lot of things that I enjoy about winter: sweaters. Scarves. Flannels. Fuzzy socks. I can drink hot tea all the livelong day -- I do this in the summer, too, but it's a little less acceptable then.
Plus, winter is gorgeous. I cannot get over the sheer, radiant color of the cold months, as if God traded warmth for saturation. It takes my breath away.
This winter, I know I'm going to be cold. But I want to choose to focus not on how I am so cold I want to die, but instead, on the things that come with the cold that that I love. I want to even enjoy the winter, because of what it brings: coziness, my favorite kinds of clothes, and Christmas (to name a few).
Plus, the bracing wind reminds me of Tolkien, and we all know how I feel about that.
This winter, may we all joyously anticipate and partake in the things that we love about the season, May we choose to see winter's beauty over its chill. May we even rejoice in cold, because of what it brings with it.
May we enjoy it for the simple reason that God has made it.