I #lovemnwinter! Today, I love Minneapolis.
I write love letters. Mostly to Minneapolis, sometimes to people or animals. They are full of floral language and appreciation and gratitude and often speak of my bike or being out in nature. Winter is a hard time for me. I’ve never lived in a climate without it, yet each year it seems like a struggle. In order to increase my winter affections, I would like to compose this love letter to the city I love, in the season I am trying hard to appreciate.
In this cold, long winter, I love your quiet. Your dark, peaceful nights, filled with snow that glitters under lights, stars that sparkle bright in the sky, the crunch of the snow under my boots - all of what you bring makes me stop and give me an opportunity to appreciate the moment. I breathe in your crisp air and honor your strengths; you give the plants a chance to go fallow, to rest, to become dormant, so that they can grow anew, bigger and stronger than before. I know they sleep well under your snowy insulation.
You gift me with a reason to be cozy, to wear heavy wool and fleece-lined tights and thick socks and winter boots and a huge pair of fluffy earmuffs, and to share a hot cocoa with those dear to me after coming in laughing and breathless, rosy-cheeked from the Art Sled Rally. I love the chance to snuggle under layers of down comforters, while watching wonderful long-forgotten movies and listening to your wind whistling outside. Even on your really frigid days, I am grateful for your crystalline beauty, your sundogs, and that sparkling ring around the moon at night.
I get up long before the sun and make my way in to work, enjoying the red-hued dawn on the walk to my building, thinking about my first cup of coffee waiting inside. And there’s nothing better than warming my hands on my favorite mug, as I taste that first sip of bitter coffee, blinking ice off of my eyelashes and feeling it fall as water on my face. I enjoy the dramatic shift of coming in from the cold, feeling the familiar burn of the feeling coming back into my cheeks as I remove layer upon layer of coats and mittens, hats and scarves.
You and I have had some hard days during these cold months and in the past I have pushed you away. But I have found that the more I respect and embrace who you are, in your infinite variety, the happier I am. I am grateful for the gifts you have given me, and I can now say that with each passing year, I grow fonder of you than the year before. Thank you for giving me the chance to see what you have to offer.
With admiration and love,
Read about this collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and post about it on this blog. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls, or check out last year's #lovemnwinter posts.