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  • Writer's pictureBev Spritzer

Hot take: I already miss the cold.


Ok first, let me just say this: I realize I'm incredibly lucky to live in a geographic location that allows me to experience all four seasons in their entirety. To witness firsthand the absolute wonder of nature somehow just knowing exactly what to do as it cycles through various states of itself, a carousel constantly in motion, no beginning or end. A perfect infinity loop where everything takes the time and rest it needs. To die, but only seemingly. To lay low, finitely fallow, and to reemerge, vibrant and replenished.


To know it will be reborn, again and again and again.


Turn, turn, turn, I think someone vaguely famous once wrote.


I am in constant and utter awe of this, each and every time another year of seasons cycles back around. It doesn't stop being incredible to me.


And yet.


I am not ready for winter to leave. I already miss it. It didn't feel long enough, cold enough, snowy enough, dark enough.


Yes, the various perennials and tulip varietals are starting to peak their little tulip heads out from the earth, adorable, magical, blah blah blah. But something about me will never not favour the visible frosty breath of winter, curling upwards before dissipating into frozen, imperceptible particles. I will never not look forward to the cool, electric beauty of fall that ushers in an even colder cold. Breathing in the icy air feels like breathing in life, and not to be dramatic, but I prefer it a million times over the impending fiery doom that is summer, with every ounce of my being.


My entire life I've pretended to tolerate the summer. But in truth, I simply cannot.


That first morning where it’s cool out and you can almost smell fall in the air – I live for that feeling. It is dreaded by many. But it makes me feel at home.


I have also recently realized that shorter days and cooler climates validate a huge part of my personality, which is that I am a homebody at heart. I love the idea (and the practice) of hibernating. I love being cozy. I love early nights and reading books by lamp light. I love drinking hot tea when it's cold because the contrast of the cool air and hot liquid is a gentle, soothing tonic.


What I'm trying to say is, I'm this guy:











Look how cozy he is! He can barely keep his eyes open!


The cold is my calm.


It's restorative. It smells like static and silence, a healing anecdote to the frenzied, far-too-long days of oppressive sunlight. A rush of cool air on my warm face feels nearly medicinal. Slow down, it says. Rest your weary head. It's dark by 5, so surely your children will happily hop into bed unprovoked and you can go off and read your pile of books in a corner like a silly little winter hobbit with less body hair and tiny feet!


But there is something scientific at play here, too. I have been reading a lot about polyvagal theory lately (yeah, I *am* linking you to a fascinating medical journal!), and it turns out the cold (among other things) actually does wonders for your autonomic nervous system. It tones the vagus nerve, which is really a network of nerves, responsible for how our bodies deal with stress. The more toned our vagus nerve, the more easily we can calm an overreactive fight/flight/freeze response. And I'm honestly very impressed with my body for somehow already innately knowing this.


So maybe that's it. Maybe that's why, by the time fall begins to creep around, I’m more than ready for it to wipe from existence all that remains of June, July, and August. (Again, not dramatic!) Sunlight has its moments, sure. Flowers and plant life are their own kind of magic. Gardening is a form of therapy and fine, yes, I feel like a god when I grow a vegetable.


And yet.


After June 21st, the longest day of the year, my countdown begins anew. Because I know this, too, will cycle back around. And once again I will be able to bask in the cold as my breath becomes clouds and the dark slowly creeps in on the day like a blanket. Slow down, it says. Rest. Retreat inward. Soak up as much cozy as you can, until I slowly slip away, making way for the sun.


Turn, turn, turn.

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