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Winter Wasting-Wonderland

Winter is cold. A two year old could tell you this. Winter is windy, especially where I live in Fargo, ND. Winter is chilling to the bone. Winter is also majestic and peaceful. There is nothing more peaceful than sitting on your apartment deck and watching the fresh snow fall to the ground while hearing it softly pile atop the wood paneling. One of my favorite things to do is sit on my porch wrapped in a blanket with a cup of cocoa and just watch the snow fall. Winter is one of the most hated seasons by most, but it is one of my absolute favorites. When people tell me that they hate Winter and cannot wait until Summer, it makes me wonder if they are seeing the season for all of its worth. We are all too busy holding our heads down shuffling to the nearest door to get into shelter. Hold your head high and embrace the world around you. Look for beauty in the day given to you.

As a child, we love winter. We love going outside and coming inside to warm cocoa with marshmallows and our favorite Disney movie. What changed? What has made our society so negative on this beautiful season? Winter holds the peace and calmness of a world that is at rest. A world that has slowed down for a while to re-charge and get ready for the time to come. When we think about a tree during the Winter, they are storing energy in the winter to help grow leaves in the spring. Every season has a theme and a story to tell. Winter is not the evil step sister that is to be shunned from the seasonal family. Winter allows me time to reflect, relax, and regenerate for the incoming seasons. We know Summer is always busy with graduation, vacations, and trips to the cabin. Spring calls for cleaning and Fall calls for building relationships and being outside with the beautiful leaves. Winter, on the other hand, is more relaxed and mellow. Winter is a beautiful thing.

I remember a time in Biwabik, MN on the iron range with my Nordic ski team. We were told to go ski, go get lost on the trails and enjoy the time that we had in this great area. My group and I went out to the middle of the trails and got lost. At that time, while my other two friends were freaking out because we were lost, I found myself in a state of peace and a calm awareness of the world around me. Listening to the wind hollowing through the trees and seeing a world of white was just what I needed to feel free. I felt invincible. I wanted to stay in that moment forever because it was so peaceful. After continuing onward, the only sound we could hear was the “swish, swish, swish” of our skis and the “pft, pft, pft” of our poles going through the snow. This feeling of serenity and full relaxation is why I love Winter.

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I live in the Midwest and we are accustomed to getting huge amounts of snow dumped on us at one time. (This year, not so much) It really makes me sad when residents of the East Coast complain that they are getting snow and whine when they are living in a world of opportunity and possibility. Go out with your children and build a snow fort, a snow man, or have a snowball fight. Forget about the driveway, you can clean it later. Allow time for fun. Besides, when it snows, the temperatures have to be just right which means it is not too cold outside. Take the snow day head on and enjoy the day for its name. Sometimes we get so negative about the beautiful precipitation falling from the sky that I don’t think we even realize that we are doing it. Why live in such a negative state of mind that you can’t even enjoy the smallest amount of clean, white, snow. I can’t wait till Summer when I can hear everyone start to complain about it being too hot or too humid because it seems that everyone will always have a problem and a complaint about something somewhere that will influence their negative attitudes.

Have you ever walked in a blizzard? Have you ever walked through snow drifts that are up to your waist en-route to McDonald’s, just to find out that it is closed? I have. That was one of the most memorable nights of my college career. Being outside when no one else would dare step out their front door and walk a mile just to be outside, that is what I wanted. I was sick of watching it snow from the inside and I wanted to experience the cornflakes sized snow flakes myself. Atop my head, on my shoulders and even in my mouth. Besides, when is the next time I will be able to live in an area where it blizzards once per year? Embrace the season upon us for all of it’s beauty and personality. Every day is a gift. Don’t live your life indoors being a hermit because you are afraid to be cold and have a runny nose.

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