It's winter! That cold and snowy time of year when people change their lifestyle to suit the environment and wonder about times past and future.
We welcome the sight of pure white snow piled in amazing configurations over ground and trees. Jack Frost paints his masterpieces on windowpanes for our delight. We watch children with red cheeks build forts and snowmen. Furs and touques, mitts and scarves cover bodies with fading tans.
Winter brings the sounds of snow crunching under boots, graders searching for traffic lanes and children yelling jovial threats as they prepare piles of snowballs for the fight of the season. Birds chirp their thanks for feeders that have been filled with considerate hands. We enjoy the smells of hot chocolate, a fire burning in the hearth and something wonderful cooking in the oven. There is nothing like the taste of snowflakes gently melting on an outstretched tongue or the feel of a warm room after a walk outside in the cold.
Winter accentuates our feelings. Numb fingers and toes are warmed by neighbours who offer us a ride home. The dormant landscape lessens demands and allows us free time to escape into a good book or enjoy a romantic evening.
Some of us break the season with a dreamed of trip to warmer climates. Others haul out equipment not used at other times of year. Snowmobiles, skates, skis and hockey sticks emerge from their hiding places and challenge us to return to skills often learned in youth.
Winter is a special time. It allows us an opportunity to think about the past seasons and glean the lessons learned in them. At the same time, winter gives us a needed rest and time to plan for spring and new beginnings. The sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings of winter are yours to enjoy. I wonder what you will do with them this year.