We’ve hit a cold snap here in Seattle, a rare dip below 30 degrees that we truly don’t see very often here in the relatively temperate Pacific Northwest. I watch my neighbors drag their plants inside each night and pull their sweaters down to cover their hands as they close the doors behind them. The dog park has been completely empty the last two days, but for my brave dog and me, defiantly playing fetch despite the weather. While the rest of the city complains and piles on layers upon layers of clothing, I am reveling in the crisp, cold air that doesn’t often makes its way into Washington State, because it reminds me of home.
I woke early this morning, before the winter sun rose to its mild height, and before the frost’s lining could melt from the grass in my little yard. The winters here are notoriously rain-filled, and the ensuing dampness always makes the temperature penetrate deep into the bones, making me feel much colder than I know I should feel. So any time the clouds clear, their absence allowing the temperature to dip below freezing, I try to breathe in as much of the dry, cold air as I possibly can. Things sound different all around me when it’s this cold. Of course the cars moan and groan needing to be warmed up longer before venturing out onto the roads, but what I’m referring to is the crunch of the frozen ground beneath my boots, the ring of the nearby barges as they slam into one another in Elliot Bay, the chilled metal wind chimes clinking together on my neighbor’s deck.
This is my favorite time; winter is my season. I love to bundle up and go for late-night walks around my new house, the bite in the air invigorating me one last time before I slip into bed to read and fall asleep listening to the wind curl around the house. This is the time when my creative juices start overflowing into domains I don’t normally extend myself towards. For me, this kind of weather possesses nothing that can make me feel lonely or dormant. Instead, it makes me feel independent, strong, grounded by my bold Midwestern roots.
So today I plan to finish my work, do a little writing, take some walks, and finish off the night watching my homeboys, the Green Bay Packers, play some Monday Night Football. Hell, I might even make a fire in my pretty little brick-lined fireplace and toast myself in front of it.
My life may have turned out to bring me somewhere other than where I planned to be at this point, but as I look around and plan my day, I feel content. This change of weather has brought me exactly what I needed.