Enjoy the snow!
I like the fake snow on my blog, because I so seldom get to see the real thing in my corporeal life. It’s a little symbolic reminder of the realest season there is.
It’s weird how divorced I’ve become from the seasons, even though it’s not exactly a new phenomenon. I’ve never been an outdoorsy type, and one of my earliest memories is of my mother suddenly getting exasperated one winter (in Germany I think) because my siblings and I looked “like a proper pack of ghosts” and kicking us the hell out into a cold but pleasant day.
I also still remember that day – how bright and clear it it was, how refreshing the bite of frost in the air, how much fun it was to watch the steam of our breath in the air.
I felt new.
Summer’s nice too, of course, and the in-betweeny ones as well… but winter’s always held a special charm for me. If I believed in the Fates I’d think it was some kind of joke that I’d ended up in a place that hardly ever has a real winter’s day. Summer’s fun all right, especially the brief but warm nights, and spring is bouncily joyous, and autumn has a ripe pleasnt roundness to it… but winter, winter is the deep time, the sere time, the cold sharp flensing and renewal time.
In winter you’re quick or you’re dead, and if you aren’t dead you know for a damn fact that you’re quick. In winter your blood sings as it carves out life-space on your skin, you feel the edges where you end and the rest of the world begins.
The cyber-life doesn’t sting like that. I remember in the text times, I was involved in a collaborative story on Prodigy, which I joined in the winter. It was supposed to be a live ongoing improvisation, and it was really a shock to me when one of the other writers pointed out that we were still “snowbound” in April. I’d failed to notice the actual spring sproinging.
In my defense, I was then as now living in South Carolina. How excited can you really get about spring when for most of the so-called winter you’re in your shirtsleeves? It’s eight in the evening on December the eleventh and I’m actually running the air conditioning – just briefly to clear the warm dampness out of the place and I’ll be turning it off in a minute, but still, it seems monstrous in a way.
I should be huddled under a blanket with a hot drink.
We’re all waiting for the solstice, even we enervated city dwellers in the temperate climes, because something in us still remembers the real winter, and recognizes the value of the deep, the empty, the stark, and above all the cold.
In winter you can’t doubt you’re alive; in winter, your breath is visible.