Teach me to love winter for its newness. The only winter I’ve ever known is one of dirt-covered snowballs and snow days that melted away by mid-morning. Remember I’ve never shoveled a driveway or felt my tires slide beneath me. Let me fall in love with winter even though you’re a little jaded to its annoyances. Warm my hands between yours when I forget my gloves, and insist on taking a photo to show me what I would look like inside of a snow globe.
Teach me to love winter like a child would, with awe and wonder discovering it for the first time. Laugh when I ask to climb the snow mountains that collect in parking lots, and let me knock the snow off your car even though it takes twice as long when I do. Catch me when I roll down a freshly covered hill for the first time, and tease me about my poor excuse for a snowman.
Teach me to love winter for its stillness. Lower the volume of the radio and tell me to listen to the snowflakes hit the windshield. Whisper to me in the quiet street when it’s a little too cold and everything feels a little too heavy. Remember I’m still learning how to be silent with you, how not to fill every space between words. I’m still learning.
Teach me to love winter because it gets easier. Remind me that it won’t always be terrifying, that planes will still take off and land, that my feet will get me back to my front door at the end of each day, and the cold can numb the sting of every fall I take. Remind me to slow down, and that winter isn’t a time for rushing.
Teach me to love winter for its potential. Show me how the freshly fallen snow disguises this town neither of us are crazy about. Teach me to love the cold because it keeps me close to you. Tell me it’s okay to ask for help, to need you, to need people. Winter is a difficult time to be alone.
Teach me to love winter when I miss you most. Tell me it’s okay to fill my thoughts with you. Remind me that my best writing often comes from a place of longing. And while that seems frivolous and shallow, it’s something worth remembering in winter when numbness and apathy feel comfortable.
Teach me to love winter for exactly what it is. For its relentlessness, its bitterness, its harshness. Teach me to seek value in what hurts the most. Teach me to love winter for its discomfort, its ability to shake me into life.
Teach me to love winter because it will end, and eventually the sun will return as it always does. Remind me that nothing lasts.
But don’t remind me that the same is true for us. Not now.