An Open Letter To Winter

Dear Winter,
It’s over.  I’m breaking up with you.  I thought I could build a relationship when you first came on the scene back in November, but now I see that our core values simply do not align.

You promised long days and nights of introspection, deep couches, cozy fires, red wine and chocolate.  You said I wouldn’t miss the outdoors; wouldn’t miss my friends.  But you were wrong.  I have discovered that I don’t need cold and blustery to be introspective.  I have discovered that a swaying hammock under a shady tree is far better for me than a deep couch.  If I want a fire, I can light the chiminea as dusk falls, and sip a little Riesling as I scan the sky for the first star.

You said it wouldn’t be so bad, but it is.  I have a bad case of the Uglies. My skin feels 3 times too small for my face, my eczemic ears itch non-stop no matter how much I swab them with oil.  The humidifiers run day and night but make no dent in the dry heated air of the house.  It takes me 5 minutes to gear up for any foray into the outdoors: coat, hat, scarf, gloves, boots, chapstick, tissues.  The dog finds frozen muffins on campus and tries to swallow them whole.  I spend the whole walk calculating how far I am from home rather than enjoying the day.

Every morning I twist the slats of the blinds open and look out into another gray day.  It’s the same every day.  The birds come to the feeder, but they do not sing.  They just eat.  Their life, like mine, is a matter of survival, not joy.
I am sick of you, Winter.  You are an owl and I am a lark.  Our biorhythms do not match. I am sick of soups and stews and root vegetables.  I want a crunchy salad of fresh greens.  I want to see a perfect cherry tomato fresh-picked, gleaming in a pool of viniagrette on a salad.  I want to end the day eating tapas on the deck, sipping wine, wearing shorts.  I am sick, sick, sick of shoes.  And more than shoes, I am sick of socks.

You said I could sit and read all day without the siren song of the garden and its endless demands for weeding and watering, but I need to do those things.  I find that after a few hours of reading and writing I need an active diversion.  But you make it so uncomfortable to be outside.  All you give me is snow to shovel.  It was cute the first few times, but now it’s not cute any more.  It’s boring and uncomfortable and annoying.  As are you.  We don’t fit.

I love long sunny days, hot sidewalks, the sounds of birds, the softness of an evening walk.  I love to lie on the beach, or walk the shore in the early morning and hear the waves.  I miss an ice cream cone after a long day working in the yard.  I miss flowers–oh! how I miss flowers!  And hummingbirds, and being able to walk the yard each morning with my coffee and see what has bloomed overnight, what is new.

I want to put the space heaters away, ditch the humidifiers, eat watermelon, itch a mosquito bite, float around in the kayak, read in the Lafuma chair.
I am tired of armoring against you, Winter.  I am tired of your moodiness, your grumpiness, your bad humor.  I don’t appreciate your sense of humor.  I don’t like your sloth and torpor.  I don’t like how you make me want to put on my pajamas at 4:30 in the afternoon and never get out of them until noon the next day.  I hate how you make me watch the Weather Channel every time I want to do something.

Tomorrow is February 1st.  I have to put up with you for at least 2 more months and then I am free of your bullshit. I don’t know how I am going to  to endure you for even these next few months, I really don’t.  I really hate you, and I hate the person I am when I am with you. You bring out the worst in me.  All I want to do is complain, and every time I open my mouth to do so, I have to check myself because complaining goes against all my core values; it’s just not ME.

You have made me into something I am not.  I have put up with your bullshit for too long and I really can’t do this another year, Winter.  I will be finished with you sooner rather than later, I know, but then you will try to ingratiate yourself into my life again next year, and I will probably be forced to to take you in, but god, I will not want to.  We need to find an amicable way to separate, Winter.  I cannot change you, and you cannot change me, I get that.  But I really need you out of my life.  No true happiness is possible for me until you’re gone.



10 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Winter

  1. Beautiful writing. One of your best pieces in a long time. The irony 😉

    But, oh, my poor yoga mama. Tatiana says the one thing she misses about Mansfield (besides Fred’s cat) is snow. The grass is always greener, eh?

    First thing. I’m sending you some cod liver oil. It’s chock full of vitamin D, which you are sorely lacking right now, and EFAs, which will be prana to your eczematic ears. Just put a little morning rocket fuel into a shot class, add a teaspoon of cod liver oil, and chug it down. Yowza! I would die in the winter, even here, without it. It is my elixir, it keeps me healthy when other nursing students are dropping like flies with thick sinuses and gagging coughs. Otherwise I am walking around with a big, gray, grumpy cloud over my head.

    Second, You and G can have the girls’ bedroom anytime you like, or you can stay at one of the 30+ hotels within a 2 mile radius. I have a very social hummingbird who tweets the old fashioned way every day from the bare walnut tree. The California poppies are about to burst forth in the front yard, and there are little daffodils coming up everywhere. The golden hills are a bright, emerald green, and I must get myself to the nursery to pick up some orange calendula for the yard. It’s not “warm,” per se, but even 60 feels like heaven in February, and having dear friends around is like a big chiminea. When are ya comin’? xoxo


  2. *Love* this post. Probably because I’m with you on this one, 100%. I’m one snowfall away from stuffing my cheeks with cereal like a squirrel, making a blanket fort, and hibernating until March 21. I can’t believe we still have all of February to endure. Dear god.


  3. C’mon! This is what builds our character! It’s what us northeasterners have to make us strong! Buck up girl! (tee-hee… ;)) Plus, we don’t get snow days in the summer! My approach: pretend that we will have 4 more months of this, then when spring comes in 2 months, it will feel like a surprise! And my other favorite: it’s better than swimming in shark infested waters with a cut finger.


    1. Omg. You are so catholic. Or puritan. Or capricorn. Or something. My character doesn’t need any more building; it’s sturdy enough. What it needs is ornamentation! Dentils or ogee windows or flying buttresses or at least a sunroom with an infrared sauna and a masseuse on call.
      Would love to hash all this out with you over breakfast after a hot and sweaty ashtanga practice some morning, though! You say when! I’m ready to jump the shark!


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