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  • There once was a time in my life when I loved winter. My mother would bundle me up in layers and send me out into the backyard with my sister. We would stay out there for hours making forts, snow angels and anything that our imagination could come up with that could also be molded from snow. I remember my mom having to fight to get us to come back inside. Usually she would tempt us with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Not too far from our house there was also a large hill for sledding and my dad would walk us over there. Sometimes he would pull us the whole way on our sled if there was enough snow on the sidewalk. There were snow days from school to be cherished also and not one was wasted sitting inside in front of the t.v.

    But for most of my adult life I haven't been able to enjoy winter in the same way. Now all I notice is how everything is dry. My skin is dry, my hair is dry, the air I'm breathing is dry. Every metal object, or person I hug, or animal that I pet threatens to send a static shock running through my arms. The air is so blistering cold that it actually hurts my lips when there is a gust of wind. It's too cold to wander the forest preserves or ride my bike and there are no flowers, plants or green grass to brighten up my day. This winter has been especially grey. Some winters are sunny, but this winter I am feeling the lack of sun.

    So why don't I move somewhere warmer? I have considered it. I've been in Florida in February relishing the fact that I'm not even wearing a coat when all of my counterparts up North are layered up, shivering in their cars waiting for them to warm up. I've dreamed about living in California, Arizona, Arkansas or Texas. Anywhere that doesn't have as harsh a winter as Chicago. But then I realized something. I realized that I was forgetting all the nice things about winter. The things that I used to enjoy as a child. Like how a new snowfall can muffle the sounds of the city and make everything quiet, peaceful and beautifully white. I had forgotten that winter is the time to rest, relax, recharge (hibernate in a way) and store up energy for spring so that we can burst and bloom with the flowers.

    It was a simple reminder, written by a stranger, on the door of my car in the snow. Love.
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