Two days ago, we had our second snowfall of the season, which is practically a record for our area. (Read about the first one here.) Temperatures have been very cold--definitely a record for our area. Snow is beautiful, and I enjoy it for short periods, but I'm grateful that it usually melts within a day or two here.
Even though I don’t like to be cold, I do appreciate the season of winter. Here are a few reasons why winter is a good thing:
1. Trees and plants go dormant in winter to survive the cold. Then in the spring they grow new leaves, and their buds burst open and enthrall us. (Click here to read about a long, hard winter that ended with a special gift for me.)
Winter gives us an appreciation for the other seasons: the promise and new life of spring, the heat and play of summer, the color and crispness of fall.
2. Cold temperatures kill bugs, which is very, very good.
3. The winter landscape can be stunning. Early in my writing career, I had the pleasure of interviewing Edith Henderson, the first female professional landscape architect in Atlanta. With an impressive list of credentials including education, experience, and awards, she created new paths for women in the field (puns intended). And through her weekly newspaper column, she taught readers how they could make their own landscapes beautiful. I enjoyed my time with her, and what I remember most was what she said about winter.
Edith said that while everyone loves spring, she loved looking at the winter skyline, at the shape and form of the trees. It reminded her of a black-and-white pencil sketch. Because of their shape and branching structure, she could identify trees even at a distance without seeing their bark.
She wrote about it in her book, Home Landscape Companion:
January is the truthful month…When deciduous trees lose their leaves they become immediate silhouettes, and some suffer by comparison…But beeches, maples, sourwoods, white oaks, and many others provide a handsome show all winter long. The cold months can be times of great beauty (Home Landscape Companion, 20).
Now, when I’m shivering in a wintry wind or longing for the warmth of the sun, I remember to look at the silhouettes of the trees against the sky and, like Edith Henderson, appreciate the great beauty of winter.
Do you like winter? What is your favorite season? Let me know in the comments below.
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