I can’t regret the autumn for its warmth and cinnamon promises just because the winter air is now frozen and scentless.
I was surprised to find out that I don’t hate winter. When the fall started to die off I felt a surge of panic coming on as the winter approached with its inevitable killing frost. It was like entering one of those long dark train tunnels they show in cartoons, except I would be speeding through the darkness towards an ever approaching blackness and no chance of light at the end of the tunnel for months to come. That’s what winter is like in New England—sun setting at 4:30pm and a whole lot of seasonal effective disorder, especially for natural night owls like me. I’m surprised that there aren’t more Swedes around living around here.
But now that the darkness is upon us, it’s not the worst part about it, even as I drive home from my night job. The moon has been high and unshielded by clouds and tonight I saw a line of does, four of them walking away from the fence in a filed, retreating deliberately into the woods from which they came.
There’s something special about the silence of cold, something quieter than the rush of summer, when everything is awake and alive and up all through the night. Maybe it’s the insects that give the nights their summery hum, as they harmonize in the fields and launch their kamikaze missions towards the lit lampposts.
It’s not the winter or the dark or even the snow I don’t like, it’s the cold. But that has it’s own charm as long as you have somewhere cozy to crawl into, even if its just a fleece-lined jacket. In New York City, winter charm is your hot breath steaming into the cold night because you’re too drunk or stubborn to call it a night at 3am, so you might as well go for pancakes and have breakfast before you go to bed.
But now that winter is upon me, being in the thick of the dark and the cold is not as scary as I had anticipated. I found myself suddenly alone after a busy fall full of friends and possibilities and the cooking of harvest fruits in the kitchen. I am disappointed at the way some things worked out – people no longer in my life who I never intended to lose, a heart left unclaimed and waiting outside oa door left ajar. But I can’t regret the autumn for its warmth and cinnamon promises just because the winter air is now frozen and scentless. I can’t regret the love-first/question-later mentality of my heart. It is an organ of intuition, free of the limitations of doubt, after all, and I cannot question its logic.