I’ve never been a big fan of being politically correct, at least not as an obsession or from fear of reprisal. Oh yes, I believe equality is best, but only if it’s heartfelt, not a concession to popular culture.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I became inspired to followup last week’s column by giving winter equal time. In all honesty, my favorite season has always been whichever one we are in, and last week’s focus on summer should not promote neglect of the great aspects of winter — a season we didn’t have this year….
Leaving Christmas out of the picture, which we will do because it would be awesome anytime, we come first to my birthday. My birthday has always brought winter celebrations — ski trips, winter hiking, sledding, and outdoor parties with huge bonfires.
You see, growing up in western Pennsylvania, if you hid out just because the weather was cold, you would find that you were spending way too much time indoors. Like maybe, half the year…..
So I always kinda laugh when someone says it is too cold to have outdoor activities — one of the great things about winter is the chilly outdoors. I had the bad fortune to fall off a ladder on Jan. 19 this year, just after locating a store that could replace my long-lost cross country ski boots. The resultant recovery time killed my ski season. All I can say is, there’s always next winter, and though cross country is not big around here, it is accessible. (Never been coordinated enough for downhill).
Parallel to this, we have sledding. I was fortunate enough to grow up when sleds were real (made of wood, with metal runners, around five feet long, etc). It wasn’t long after that, we began to see those plastic discs, flimsy and unsteerable. I say fortunate, as well, because I kept and took care of my old sled, and we still have it, in very good shape. Two or three years ago, I asked my dad for another one and he said he could not find one anywhere, just plastic discs. At least we have one real sled.
There are simple things, too, things that can be taken for granted. You go out to start your car, so it will get warmed up, and while it is warming up, you stand outside and drink a cup of hot coffee or cocoa. Now how much fun is that, in 90-degree weather? But in the winter it becomes one of life’s simple pleasures.
Or fireplaces. There’s a good feeling about winter fires, from splitting or cutting the wood all the way to the point where you are sitting in front of the fire. It’s nothing that central heating can duplicate.
Some snowmen, and snowomen, are of course irreplaceable. We built some this year, though the snow was not perfect but only passable. We all know the feeling, though, that comes when you have the perfect snow for building snow persons. If we don’t, we should.
Well, all this just reminds me of the hard part of this — how does one have a favorite season, when that happens to be whatever one we are in?
Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org