When I Think of Winter

When I Think of Winter

When I Think of Winter

Words by Ashley Herrin
Photos by Laurie Wheeler

Growing up I was always entranced by the winter season. Not necessarily because of the snow days and early releases that would send us home from school, or the fact that Christmas and winter are synonymous in the English dictionary. I found more happiness in the intangibles. The moments shared and memories made. Today, when I think of winter, I am reminded of the happy accidents and heart-warming circumstances experienced as a direct result of a fresh blanket of snow and bitingly cold temperatures.

When I think of winter I think of warmth. Memory brings me right back to the fireplace in my living room. Getting so close to the stove that it becomes too much to handle, and then doing it all over again the second I stepped away to 'cool off.' Winter was a time when the living room became my bedroom. The sound of the wood crackling in the stove was sure to put any restless soul to sleep. When I think of winter I think of comfort. I think of my favorite Pendleton blanket and one of my favorite books, surrounding me in my quiet nook of the house. I find comfort whenever I take a bite out of my grandmother's butternut squash casserole, a dish that invokes a sense of home and nostalgia all in one bite. As a child, I loved watching snow flakes fall gently over the yard. To me, this white blanket clinging to the pine trees was a winter hug, and something I took comfort in knowing. When I think of winter I think of home. I am reminded of family traditions and gatherings past. I am reminded of the time spent with my mom, dad, and brother, not doing anything in particular except being present in the moment and enjoying each others company.

When I think of winter I think of how grateful we are to have the opportunity to enjoy such a beautiful season. Three seasons out of the year, we get so wrapped up in 'doing' that we forget the importance of 'being.' I take comfort in knowing that winter is a time which forces you to slow down, find warmth in the present, and enjoy home.