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my dear friend,

Lest you think I entered the world loving winter, let me introduce you to some friends who taught me to love winter, in my ongoing endeavor to show you, if I can, to love winter, too. The introduction begins with a person who does not love winter, but who loves quotes.

My grandma, Grandma Chris, has a notebook of collected quotations, and an old tome of published quotations. I remember the first time I ever saw them, somewhere between childhood and teenage years, and I pored over them with intensity. I was greedy for wisdom, and here it was, pages and pages of it. My head stuffed with new thoughts, I would walk around as close to drunk as I'll ever be, looking at things newly, as if I'd peeled back a veneer and could see a little beneath.

I began my own collection, a fresh denim-covered notebook from the craft store and glued a collage of aged-looking cutouts to the front in my developing cursive. Then, I filled the pages.

I am on to a second notebook now, having filled that one two years ago. I was slow to fill the old one, to end an era, to make a mark on that last page. That little book has traveled to different cities and countries, has warmed my own heart and lived in my classroom when I taught, where I shared its treasures with my students. It is good to learn from those who come before us.

All that to say, I grew to love winter in some ways from the writers who loved it and praised it and peeled back the layers of it for me to look at its secrets and its heart. Here are a few of the winterwise that awakened my affections:

"Winter came down to our home one night

Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,

and we, we were children once again."

Bill Morgan Jr.

"What a severe, yet master artist old Winter is...A severe artist! No longer the canvas and the pigments, but the marble and the chisel."

John Burroughs, "The Snow Walkers"

Maybe you, too, have favorite thoughts from those who've walked their winters before us? I'd love to listen along if you'll share them in the comments.

with joy,

karly alexandra


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