When I was graduating from college, I was offered a job that would keep my in Providence, RI. One of my professors took me aside and said, “Listen, all your friends are moving to San Francisco. You’re young and it’ll be an easy move. You should go with them. If you don’t, in twenty years you’re going to be like me, depressed, sitting at the bar at Babes, finishing your fourth beer and wondering why the fuck you’re spending another winter in Providence. But you’ll be stuck here. Get out now.”
I didn’t take his advice and remember distinctly thinking, “Winter’s not so bad.”
Yesterday it snowed. If you can call it that. There was some snow, then some rain, then some snow, and rain… you get the idea. Most of the day I sat at my kitchen table finishing paperwork for a job I’ve just left after eighteen years. Several times I distinctly thought, “I hate winter.”
My mother would correct me: “Hate’s a strong word.” Okay, I deeply dislike winter.
Disliking winter is new. It’s crept up on me, and it’s become more pronounced since moving to Cape Cod. In the city I could avoid winter. After dark, I could go places that were bright and well heated. I could have convivial conversations. I could be active beyond the confines of daylight and my house.
It was cold today, although that’s relative. It’s been a warm fall and winter so far, so temperatures below freezing during the day are a shock to the system. I figured I could make it a regular workday and got to my studio by 9 AM. After doing a few things I absolutely had to do, I crashed. I rallied when I made the decision to take a cold walk in the woods.
The walk was sublime. Light filtered through trees for the mile hike to the Atlantic. There was a light mist over the ocean, which served to diffuse the low light. The long shadow of the dune cliff reached just past the water’s edge — allowing sunlight to infuse the only the earliest waves along stretches of the beach. The sun was strong enough to keep me warm, and bright enough to ease the day’s earlier funk.
There’s no doubt that I have a preference for the warmer seasons, and at least once I thought how much better the walk would be if I were just in a t-shirt and jeans. But that’s months away. And the work right now is to learn to love the season I’m in.