For the longest time, I was convinced my parents chose the wrong country to immigrate to. Born in a sunny Mediterranean country, my blood is just not physically equipped to handle the cold and grey days for six months out of twelve. That’s half a year of icy winds to the face, wet slush, hibernation (read: weight gain) and back-to-back transit delays.
To clarify, it’s not snow that I have a challenge with. It’s the cold. It’s that bone chilling hurts-to-breathe kind of cold that I don’t mesh well with, no matter how bundled up in fleece and wool I am. But more specifically, from a mental and emotional perspective, I don’t like being locked up indoors for a long time. I like being outside, I like walking for hours and I adore the sun. And those days and nights of -30 degrees prevent me from doing what I like doing the most to keep my soul happy – and slightly prevents me from loosing my sanity.
That being said, I’ve recently learned to appreciate the many beauties of Winter. As much as I love sun and warmth, I equally find a blissful kind of joy when I walk through a beautiful white snowfall, reminiscent of a magical snow globe. I enjoy seasonal warm drinks (hot buttered rum, anyone?) and the way nature transforms itself into a beautiful ice palace is not only scientifically fascinating, but aesthetically breathtaking. And now, thanks to my Scandinavian-blooded boyfriend, I’ve learned to loosen up and to actually have some fun outdoors in that very cold that I so effortfully wanted to avoid.
When he suggested we go tobogganing one Sunday afternoon, I laughed. But then I stopped laughing when I realized he was being serious. Tobogganing. How could I forget about tobogganing? When I was a kid, I used to love snow for the mere fact of going tobogganing. When did I become such a boring weather-complaining adult? I decided to stop my moaning about the snow on the ground and accepted his invitation to do something fun about that snow on the ground.
Now, it certainly wasn’t smooth sliding. We hit some bumps. We fell off and we tumbled down the hill. I lost my earmuffs. We swallowed some snow and some even rode up under our shirts and a little bit in my pants. But amongst all that of that clumsiness, we laughed till we were out of breath, the way you would when you watch a FailBlog video. We helped each other up and we fell again, we rolled down and laughed some more. Perhaps our toboggan skills might have been more eloquent when we were younger, but the same level of Winter nostalgia was re-lived amongst ourselves that afternoon. And suddenly, to me, Winter wasn’t so bad anymore.
After a couple of rounds up and down the hill (mostly down), we finished the day by getting dry and warm in front of the coziest wood burning fireplace. While we were warming up our feet and hands by the soothing fire, I realized that I could never truly experience that grateful sensation of warmth, comfort and closeness if it wasn’t for Winter.