Posts in "Winter"
Winter Dreaming

The first snow fell in Minneapolis this week and I missed it in a way that I had guessed I might, but wasn't really expecting. It came on the warmest day of the week so far in Charlotte--72 and sunny--and Rob and I sat outside on a patio eating burgers for lunch.

People (mostly Minnesotans) tell me that I'm being silly, or misremembering the winter, and I know that I was only there for one year and I still found myself missing my outdoor runs and feeling ambiguously sad on dark, frozen February afternoons. Yes, by the time March 20th rolled around and spring was nowhere to be found, I sometimes wondered what we were doing there, but the magic of winter in Minnesota was always there. Maybe it was because I came from Virginia, where the prediction of even a slight dusting of snow was enough to close down all schools and offices and wipe clean the bread and dairy isles in every grocery store as people battened down the hatches and rushed home to locate their flashlights.

Life goes on in Minnesota, regardless of the weather or if you came prepared, and that spoke to me in a deep way I never realized I needed it to. So whether or not it makes sense, I miss it. I miss the city and I miss my favorite coffee shop and breakfast spot and the places in Uptown we used to go for happy hour. I miss our Saturday afternoon lunch stop with the fireplace in St. Paul, and I realize that the majority of the things I loved in Minnesota, I loved more because it was so cold outside.

I miss the fireplaces in bars and drinking hot apple cider with caramel vodka, cuddled up watching trashy TV or holiday movies on my couch or a friend's. It may have one of the harshest climates ever, but Minneapolis took me in, made me feel at home, made me feel (and be) capable and self-sufficient, and for that it'll be my favorite city all year 'round.

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In-Between Seasons

Last "spring" (April in Minnesota), I scrolled through my Instagram feed with frustration and jealousy. Flowers, patios, iced coffees! People on the east coast were baring their shoulders and eating salads outside while I sat under a blanket, watching the snow fall outside.

And now "autumn" is upon Minneapolis (I use quotations again because those two in-between seasons are a little iffy up there), and friends are wrapping themselves in scarves and sipping on warm, pumpkin-flavored beverages. And once again I'm jealous, this time as I force a pair of jeans into the mid-80 degree North Carolina afternoon.

I lived in Minnesota for one winter--not long enough for it to become my new normal, but I let it in and felt it down deep and somehow it became a part of me, like I was supposed to be there; or like perhaps that winter had been within me all along.

I may not know what it's like to be there year after year as the snow piles up, feeling it in your bones and wearing on you. I have never hunted down the best patios all spring and summer or, in late August, exchanged groans and anxious faces, greeting people on the street like Game of Thrones characters--"winter is coming."

But I loved it there and felt at home-- loved the way the snow seemed to fall more often than not, loved the way you just dig in and deal with it, bringing your gloves with you everywhere and driving a little bit more slowly across icy roads. And yet here I am, settling in down south on a warm September day, daydreaming about fall and winter and sweaters and hot tea; laughing as I unpack our heavy winter coats and hoping to soon wake up to a hazy chill and that smell of leaves. Wondering where I belong, and already missing that impending northern snow.

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Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

I often daydream about seasons long before they ever show up.

I wish the last few weeks of summer away with dreams of crunchy leaves and woolen socks. The day after Thanksgiving, I'm consumed with thoughts of twinkly lights and a cozy white Christmas spent by the fireplace.

And now we're in February, where I've already ordered several iced coffees; finding myself so incredibly ready for spring. I could try to blame this on the extra long and extra cold winters here in Minneapolis, but I've done this my whole life.

I love looking forward to things. My brother arrived late last night and I've been looking forward to his trip for months. I have a lot to look forward to, but even the most routine of things--autumn, winter, spring, summer--cause me to create countdowns and celebrate every little day we get closer to the goal. Maybe it's good, to be so enthusiastic about the future, but a lot of the time, I feel like I'm missing out on what's directly surrounding me.

So this season, I will try to sit in the present without wishing it away. I want to do more than accept what is in front of me--I want to be thankful for it. For extra snow and a new experience. For this long winter before Rob and I begin our marriage and start figuring out what's next for us. This most likely could be my last Minnesota winter, so I want to hold on to it. My brother is here for five days and there are hot beverages to drink and frozen waterfalls to see.

These winters are long, but they're good. My sundresses can wait.

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. 
--Albert Camus
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