Many people hate winter. People travel to get away from it, purchase second homes to escape from it, or move all together so that they never have to deal with it. The reasoning behind this distaste is even pretty practical. Most complain about the cold, the lack of color, shorter days, and bad commuting conditions. I can’t argue against those points. I dislike those things as much as the next person. In my book, though, one thing makes winter worth it: SNOW. Not only does snow make me look past all of winter’s less pleasing characteristics, but it also forces me to find the bright side of each of them. A ‘snow-white’ silver lining if you will (pardon the corny pun, it’s how I roll sometimes).
Cold: Yes, winter is cold. Sometimes it can be downright freezing. But with snow you can build awesome forts to shelter yourself from the frigid wind! Ok, maybe that’s not that practical. But there is something to be said for the imagery of being bundled up in a fuzzy blanket in front of a roaring fire, a cup of hot cocoa with a few marshmallows to accompany you while you read a good book, sheltered from a blizzard of blinding white, beautiful snow. Sure, the cold isn’t fun. But it makes us appreciate the warmth that much more. Everything seems more cozy when there is snow on the ground.
Lack of Color: Getting back to that glittering white snow, the substance as instrumental to winter as it is for the holidays (read “I’m dreaming of a white christmas”), while white isn’t giving color to its surroundings it is covering up the browns and grays of dead grass, bare trees, and muddy paths. It covers the decaying ground with a fresh, clean, soft and glowing white that even the biggest of winter cynics will admit is beautiful. Not only does it make for a beautiful world outside of your home, but it also dampens sound. This accumulation of snowflakes gives you a quiet, calm, and peaceful escape that you don’t experience during any other season.
Daylight: There isn’t a whole lot I can do to argue against less daylight. There isn’t really a silver lining there. Sorry.
Commuting: Normal commuting is going to be a pain, true. But let me stop you before you feel like you totally have this point won. Snow allows for a number of forms of transport that otherwise wouldn’t be available to people! Sledding (downhill & with dogs), skiing (cross-country & downhill), snowboarding, snowmobiling, and the all important doing donuts in your car! Sure, these may not be the most practical way to get to work or do your weekend errands. They are, however, a hell of a lot of fun and should not be discounted when considering a winter with snow.
Now you may be thinking to yourself “He’s right! Winter doesn’t sound half bad! I kind of want to go out and play in the snow followed by some hot chocolate.” And you’d be right to do so! All those people who say “I like to live somewhere that I can experience all 4 of the seasons” are doing so largely because a snow filled winter is a wonderful thing.
There is one slight problem though… There has been next to ZERO snow here in the midwest the past winter and a half! All those wonderful things that snow brings to winter? Gone. Are you going to build a sweet snow fort? Nope. Write messages to people in the snow like the world is your whiteboard? Maybe next year. No, we have been treated with a cold, albeit not freezing, brown and gray landscape of gloom. If it weren’t for the holiday lights that people graciously keep up I might want to take a page out of the bear’s playbook and hibernate till warmer temps. I didn’t sign up for 3 1/2 seasons with “winter” being more of a cold and gloomy extension of fall than its normal snowy self.
I myself will travel to find snow if I have to. I never thought it would come to that being a Minnesota native and now current Chicago resident, but when push comes to shove I need my snow! Give me snow. Give me my nights in front of the fire. Give me a well packed snowball. Give me an expertly built snowman. Give me a mountain covered in fresh powder, ready for first tracks. Give me a walk under the moonlight with the silent calm only a blanket of white can afford. Give me snow… because it’s just not winter without it.