Winter Perspectives

WP_20140121_003There are many people who hate winter weather. The snow, the ice, the cold… who needs it, right? I, however, am not one of those people. Sure, I would enjoy warm (not hot), sunny (but low-UV) weather most of the time.  But living where I live in the middle of New Jersey, that’s not going to happen.

I like winter because, well, it’s not summer. Or spring. Or autumn.  The shadows cast in the moonlight by the bare trees is different than the shadows cast when the trees’ canopies are filled out.  Add a fresh layer of bright, white snow to the ground and these nighttime shadows really pop. Add a slight breeze which makes the trees and their respective shadows dance in the moonlight and now you have a whole new perspective on the world once again.

I look around the yard or the neighborhood at the snow-covered landscape and I see possibilities. The big mountain of snow at the corner of the parking lot… what could be hidden inside it, just waiting for the warmer days to melt the snow? What strange creatures left those tracks across the front yard? What magical powers are contained within the giant icicle dangling from the corner of the rickety old house at the end of the lane? What is going on in that building you can barely see through the falling, blowing, blinding snow?

For me, there is about a foot of snow covering the garden. Yet, I see places where the snow melted – perhaps that’s the landing gear for the alien spaceship that visited last night. The footprints and animal tracks in random patterns, perhaps they are actually a hidden message left for me to discover – a treasure map left by an ancient magician who is hoping I will be the one to release him from his eternal prison.

As writers, we should seek inspiration in our surroundings, even when we find those surroundings to be a nuisance or a problem. Some of the best stories can arise from simply taking a sideways look at a real-world situation. So when you look out your window today, what do you see?  Is it snow? Sunshine?  Rain?  Now tilt your head, squint a little and look again. What do you see now?

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15 thoughts on “Winter Perspectives

  1. Beautiful perspective! I am also a winter lover.

  2. I feel it’s rare to find other winter lovers. There’s a mystery to winter that no other season can give, and it’s good to remember such perspectives!

  3. Even the sound is different when there’s snow–everything is muffled except the delighted shrieks of the kids and the songs of the birds. Love it.

    • Yes! The sound is something I had intended to mention. I have an electric car so driving down a snow-covered road with the window down has this really odd, quite, even peaceful sound to it. It’s awesome.

  4. I’m a winter lover too! Love the cold weather. Why do I live in deep South Georgia? Ugh. This winter we’re getting a good share though, loving it!

  5. For me, I love the winter too…and spring…and summer…and to think of it…fall too. I’m the type that by he end of one season, I’m ready for the next to take over and change everything. I love this perspective of seeing things differently and from a different perspective. A great trait for a fiction writer. 😉

    • Yes. I look forward to when this snow melts and the little hyacinths and crocuses start popping up through the last bits of snow. Then, a bit later, the strange-looking plants that start sprouting (peonies) and look amazingly alien as they start out in this deep red color before turning green. The changes in the seasons can be very inspiring.

  6. Yes, we need to approach our writing with a child-like inquisitiveness and not an adult put down that tells us there is no way anything exciting or scary could be lurking out there.

  7. Swirling swelling snow on a frigid Friday. Ah, Nature.

  8. Rob, I live in South Jersey. Wouldn’t it be funny if we were neighbors?

  9. I unfortunately am NOT winter lover although I live in the mid-west. I really appreciated your perspective. I’ll squint my eyes and tilt my head and look at the snowy days with a new perspective. Thanks

  10. I grew up in Trenton and lived there until I was 11, always relishing the crisp crunch of new snow and its austere beauty over what could be a worn landscape in other seasons. But I also lived in Michigan for three years when our new marriage survived on daydreams amidst shots of reality. I loved standing with my new husband at the window, watching the first snows fall in autumn, feeling bound by the finality of its presence, lifted by the sublime cast of winter baptism.

    And then that gorgeous snow turns to slush, the roads become dangerous and impassable, the temperatures are unforgiving, and the beauty of first snow is just a seven-month handfast to discomfort.

    I love the way you write about it.

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