Winter Is Coming (But So Is Christmas!)

Today, as I walked home after dark (which isn’t all that late these days thanks to daylight savings time ~sigh~) the wind was close to gale force. I say close to, because it didn’t exactly push me down the sidewalk, but it certainly blew my hair around and gave me a shove from time to time. As I continued on my solitary way home from some shopping, both for a couple baby showers on the weekend and of course, for Christmas, I listened to the wind move through the trees. It moaned. It howled. And it reminded me that winter isn’t all that far away. We have been quite spoiled here in Toronto due to a surprisingly warm fall (thanks, El Nino) and so, this is the first it seemed like winter. The thought saddened me for a moment, as I thought of another year drawing to a close and warm weather becoming a distant memory.

Then I smiled. My birthday is around the corner. And just over a month away is one of my favourite holidays of all time – Christmas! So, I guess those things wouldn’t be happening if not for winter. I suppose I could always move to the tropics during the cold winter months, if my husband’s job was more mobile and my family didn’t all live here…but I think I might actually miss the snow. And watching the changing of the seasons. Yes. I said it. I like snow. Just, could we maybe have it melted away by February this year? Yeah. I know. I’m a dreamer.

Anyway, this is probably one of the most disjointed blog posts I have ever written, but I really felt the need to write down how I felt this evening on my walk home. With the wind moaning in the trees, the cold air making my fingers hurt because of course I left my gloves at home and my ears feeling just a tiny bit cold because again, I didn’t think I would need a hat, I journeyed home. It wasn’t a very long walk. Maybe about two or three blocks from the shopping centre, but in the dark and wind, it can feel much longer.

I listened to the wind, and it wasn’t friendly. The wind to me is different for each season. Spring has a soft, warm, gentle breeze that teases my hair. It holds the promise of new life and the smell of blossoms is a whisper in the air. Summer is a hot, sticky wind that sometimes makes you wonder why it bothers to blow at all. Of course, that’s my favourite wind, because it encourages me to go get into cold water or tan on the beach or just be outside, usually in the shade of a tree somewhere. The scents the summer wind carry are a mixture of berries, flowers and grass. Then there’s the fall wind. It’s crisp and holds an air of promise. It says, there is a change ahead. You’re going to be apple picking, selecting pumpkins for Halloween, celebrating Thanksgiving and enjoying all the wonderful stories your little one brings back from school. This wind carries the scent of those apples, water from recent rain, damp earth and a sort of sleeping. All these winds are pretty friendly.

Then there’s the winter wind. I say it’s not friendly, because it just doesn’t feel like it is. It blows hard and it cuts through multiple layers of clothing. It tries to strip the dry skin off my bones when I forget to wear gloves and makes my ears hurt when I forget to wear a hat. (I hope my mom doesn’t read this post or I’ll be getting a phone call asking me why I’m not wearing my warm winter woolies. ~L~) It pushes me down the street so that I slide through slushy puddles or fall flat on my butt on the ice which coats the sidewalk. Sometimes I think the winter wind is laughing at me as I clutch my coat closed around me or try to hang onto the bag which is fluttering helplessly in the gale. It mocks me as I slip and slide on the sidewalk or accidentally step into a slush puddle. It makes me gasp for breath and snatches each one with a screech. It pulls at me and slaps me in the face. Like I said, it’s not a friendly wind.

But the wind isn’t always there. At least it dies down sometimes in the winter, especially right after a heavy snowfall. When it’s silent and resting, then it almost seems friendly. Sometimes it will pick up a few flakes and toss them about, as though pretending to be Spring’s breeze. But I know better than to trust the calm. The wind isn’t friendly in the winter. It’s cold and dark and taunting. Which makes it all the more wonderful to see the lights of my home when I turn that corner, knowing that I will be out of the wind soon. Soon I will be in the arms of my loved ones, in my warm home, drinking something hot, wrapped up in my cozy plush bathrobe.

I’m fortunate though, and blessed. So many people in this world, some living not so far away from me, don’t have a warm place to go away from the wind. They’re the ones who feel the winter wind’s wrath the worst. Those are the ones I think about and pray for as I snuggle in my chair and type this. I hope that all of us think of those who can’t get away from the winter wind, and not only pray for them, but look for ways to help them have a warmer winter.

That’s all my musings for tonight.

Until next time,

Keep dreaming and never give up!

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About Author Amy McGuire

Author of The Heart's Discovery, a YA Romance novel set mostly in British Columbia with a brief foray into Quito, Ecuador. Also the mother of a bubbly second grade redhead who adores turquoise, and wife to a very patient man. She lives in Toronto, the inspiration for so many of her place names and characters.
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