I find this the hardest time of year. The extreme cold and the long nights make me want to curl up in bed and sleep until spring. But this year I've been trying hard to find reasons to love -- or, at least, to like -- the winter.
For one thing, I like how quiet it is on my street, as neighbours trudge from cars to houses and close their doors behind them. Of course, when there's a major snowstorm all that changes as snowblowers are fired up and people yell greetings to one another between shovels full of snow and ice.
For another thing, when I finally venture out, I am amazed at how really beautiful winterscapes can be. Two days ago, as I was driving along the Ottawa River Parkway, I was struck breathless by the sight of frost coated trees shining in the sunlight against the steel grey sky.
I like running in the winter too -- at least, when it's not too cold. Snow covered streets and sidewalks are so much softer than concrete, and therefore easier on the legs. And stretching on our sundrenched front porch after a 7 or 8 kilometre run feels positively luxurious.
It's also easier to arrange times to get together with friends this time of year, when work and school and weather keep them closer to home and the long, dark evenings sitting by a roaring fire evoke thoughtful discussions of life, the universe and everything.
So, here's to winter, and its many gifts. Perhaps, I'll survive it after all...