Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Why I Love Winter

Here at home we are in the midst of one of the wildest winters I've ever known.  And its only early January.  We've had three snowstorms of 8+ inches and as of this moment we've been below zero with temperatures for more than 60 hours.  Our low point was a -15 degree and -51 degree wind chill.  Brrrr!

In my congregation where I serve as Pastor it is quickly becoming common knowledge that I love the winter, and I love the snow, and I don't even mind the cold temperatures.  I often get crazy looks from people who pretty much feel the exact opposite of these likes.  I even tell people I enjoy shoveling snow (which I really do!).

I have decided to include below some pictures and explanation for this crazy hobby of mine.

Winter and the snow create a whole different world.  During the other warmer months of the year you get so used to seeing things as they are and in plain sight.  Yet when things have been blanketed by snow and ice they became completely different.  Trees suddenly take on a whole new beauty.  The uneven and cluttered nature of the ground is now a white blanket of pristine beauty.

The winter and the snow provide access to wondrous new activities that are just impossible any other time of the year.  Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, even sledding are those special activities that you have to wait for the right time of year with the right weather to have them.  It makes them special, unique, even rare.

The winter and the snow take us back to our childhood.  What young kid didn't yearn for a snow day off from school.  Let's face it, most of us adults are secretly joyed by having snow days still at our age.  As kids we all loved to be out in the snow to build forts, make snow angels, decorating snow men, and just having fun.  As I've grown older this hasn't diminished one bit.  Of course what I do in the snow has changed but my love for just having it is greater than ever.

I still enjoying taking my boys out in the winter world to help foster their love of the outdoors.  They even helped build a snow "mountain" in the front yard this year.

My other love of hiking in the mountains also takes on a new dimension during the winter time.  Since I don't always get the snow I desire back home (see Winters of 11-12 and 12-13) I can always count on finding snow out west.  In the Springs of 2011 and 2012 I was blessed to head out to Colorado to hike some of their big mountains, the 14ers, in the snowy winter conditions.  I look forward to making another trek this coming February.  There is something amazing about adding the dimensions of snow and cold to the hikes that increases our sense of survival and wonder.

Perhaps you share in my joys, perhaps not.  Winter and snow certainly aren't for everyone.  Maybe it won't always be for me.  But right now, I wouldn't have it any other way.

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