Winter: a Review

2/10; was discontent

Anna Mercury


Photo by Robert Thiemann on Unsplash

The first snow fall is magic. The sky turns white and lets its hair down, spinning in the breeze until it blankets the ground and silently invites the world to hush. The trees shed their leaves and take on soft, white coats. My breath fogs the air in front of me, reminding me I am warm, vital, alive. As the nights grow long, the world slows down. I’m reminded of the wisdom of doing less, of taking time. There is no need to rush. The spring will come. We have a space between the exhale and the inhale, here in the darkness, now.

But here’s the thing — all that was in November. It is now March and it is still snowing. It’s like: okay, winter, we get it. You can stop now. To which winter replies: But wait, there’s more! Have we extolled the benefits of snow? Cold? Darkness? Quiet? Inadequate levels of Vitamin D causing your physical and mental health to tank?

You might think there was no benefit to that last one, and you’d be right.

This was, of course, not my first winter on this planet. Despite my sunnier upringing, I’ve endured plenty of winters in New York City, the U.K. and the Pacific Northwest — collectively, the junior varsity of winters. This was my first time in the big leagues. In Vermont, winter is practically a profession. It’s like investment banking — unnecessary, sadistic, and miserable for all involved.

What is the point of a “Polar Vortex”? I ask you. In February, it was negative twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit, closer to -40 with wind chill. I walked ten yards to my car and my nose hair froze solid. Did anyone ask for this? No. Did this serve any evolutionary purpose? Absolutely not.

I’ve been an environmentalist all my life and have dedicated my future to mitigating climate collapse, but this was about enough to make me switch teams.

I’m for global warming now.

Winter is like a CrossFit convert hosting a dinner party that you can’t leave. First, let’s talk about all the things that won’t be available because the host is on an extremely restrictive diet. You want bread? Not gonna happen. You want to go outside without fearing for your life? Buddy, let me tell you about the value of making everything harder than it needs to be. It’s nonstop philosophy — CrossFit really