It’s winter, it’s cold. I’ve been thinking a lot about the winter lately, what I hate about it and what I like about it. There are certain days when I wish I was in L.A. and there are other days where I wish I was in Vermont. There are three main varieties of cold winter days.
- gray winter days – these are the days when there’s a blanket of gray clouds that hovers over us. This is distinguished from gray days in other times of the year by the visible contours of the cloud bottoms. The yellow light of the sun might even be visible on the horizon below the blanket of clouds. These days are the perfect compliment to a harsh urban setting. Bleakness on top of despair. When it’s particularly cold, you might see some flurries but it’s not a snowy weather system.
- sunny winter days – glorious blue skies might be punctuated with puffy white clouds that are blown from northwest to southeast by a strong wind. these clouds traveled from western New York or Canada on the back of arctic temperatures. These days won’t erode your optimism or worsen your disposition if you remain in the sunlight.
- snowy winter days – the moisture in the air crystallizes and you know snow will come. The clouds that loomed ominously before loose the sheen and move higher. A stray flake might blow past you, then two, then three and then suddenly it’s snowing. These days are best spent inside but sometimes you have to shovel the sidewalk or get your car out of the snow.
These all have their perks. One thing that’s nice is when you’re in a warm café or restaurant and it’s so warm inside that the windows fog up. Another thing that’s nice is eating a hearty stew like kimchi stew or Irish beef stew. I have a tradition of watching The Empire Strikes Back on the first day that it snows (which hasn’t yet happened this winter). I’ve been doing that since I was a kid and really having an excuse to watch one of my favorite movies.
Mostly though, I dislike the winter. While summer seems so full of possibilities winter seems so full of hindrances.