As someone who has grown up experiencing four seasons, I delight when I walk outside and the fresh chill in the air fills my lungs and lightly blows onto my face. The autumn air refreshes me despite dying leaves and darkness at 5 pm. Often, I get weird looks when I express my fondness for the cold air that bites other people's cheeks. Of course, the cold does become unbearable for me later, but before the tip of my nose reddens and my toes freeze, nostalgia, and memories keep me warm just that much longer.
I love when it snows because 32° Fahrenheit is not as cold as the snow-free night before. The white blankets the earth and light that is lost during the day returns when the moonlight causes the snow to glitter like white diamonds. Those precious moments before the snow becomes packed and littered with shoe prints or dirtied on the side of the rode capture the beauty of winter.
However, I can only admire the snow for so long. I know running up a hill to ride a sled back down will leave my fingers and toes numb. My nose will redden so much that people will ask me if I'm related to Rudolph. My feet will be exhausted from ice skating outside, but I will still want to remain outdoors for just a little bit longer. I prepare to face the outdoors with fuzzy socks, heavy boots, and oversized sweaters. In spite of all our gear, sooner or later, it does become too cold to handle, but the plethora of ways to warm up replenish my love for winter.
My sister and I compete with how numb our toes are despite wearing two pairs of socks. We both don a new pair of socks and sweaters before settling into each of our favorite spots in front of the fireplace. A steaming mug of hot chocolate or coffee defrosts my fingers. I feel the hot liquid travel through me each time I swallow. Warmth radiates to my face and from the kitchen where an almost ready tray of muffins or bread is baking in the oven. I can smell the extra cinnamon that was added waft through the house. I'm snuggled in a blanket and have a book in my lap when I realize the feeling in my toes has returned. The fire bathes everything in an orange glow. I'm grateful. I feel warm inside and out.
There is a time during winter when the cold weather becomes bitter instead of frosty. During this time, I remind myself of warm memories: the fireplace, a hot cup of tea, fresh baked goods. I may sound crazy when I say I miss the cold. The sentence incorporates everything I love about winter without saying exactly. I miss the cold means I miss the activities that warm me up, the family I share a blanket with, and the clean taste in the air when I step out to face the day.