Winter, Stock photo


This morning I woke to the year’s first snowfall. I’ve seen flakes in the air before today, but I don’t count a snowfall until I leave footprints in my driveway.  There’s something exciting about the first snowfall.  It’s an invitation to throw out your to-do list and spend the day cuddled up in your warmest, comfiest clothes.

Winter is a cozy time. It’s about battening down, digging in, and staying close to home.  It’s about hot coffee early in the morning and hearty food—soups, stews, and casseroles.

I live in Western Pennsylvania, home of four distinct seasons. For me, each one has a marker that denotes its beginning that has nothing to do with the date on the calendar.

The long winter isn’t over until I see buds on the dogwood trees and daffodils pop up seemingly out of nowhere. That first thunderstorm, with lightning and a beating rain I love marks the start of summer.  And everyone can appreciate that first brisk nip in the air that signifies fall has arrived after a hot summer.

Regardless of what is going on in our lives, the seasons turn around and around. Time never stops, and neither do we.  Sometimes we’re marching full speed ahead, sometimes we’re in retreat, but we’re always growing and changing, just like the seasons.  It’s not an original thought, but it is one we all come to learn at different times and in different ways.

Today I’m going to dig out my wool socks, heavy gloves, and knit cap, and take a walk around the neighborhood. Remember how the world looks covered in a bit of snow.  Take in the Christmas lights and the icy roofs, and the kids out trying to make snowmen, even though we don’t have anywhere near enough snow for that.  But I share their excitement.

Today marks another winter, another new beginning. Another chance to do what I want to do, be who I want to be.  I don’t have to wait for New Year’s resolutions, or the first day of spring.

I start today, on my first day of winter.