On the occasion of the First Snow of the Season

The Lord of Winter came to me and loved me and gifted me with  snow…

I have a conflicted relationship with winter.

As a child, I grew up in NW Montana, where it is grey most of the winter, snowfall is measured in feet deep, and winter was dark, cold and long. 

I carry scars of frostbite and deep bone pain from years of cold and damp to this day.

But I loved winter. Winter was playtime, after the dawn to dusk work of autumn was done, with sledding and igloo building and armies of snow men,women and children that marched through empty hay fields. Winter was ice skating and silent wars of snowballs and sword fights with icicles as long as your arm. Winter was fields of diamonds as the weak watery sun glinted off fields of white. Winter was blizzards where the wind shook your house and snow blew so thick that the world was white. Winter was ice fishing, snow shoeing, cross country skiiing and hunter’s orange and roaring fires in the fireplace.  Winter was hot apple cider and hot chocolate with whipped cream,never marshmellows, mincemeat pie and pancakes with real maple syrup. 

Winter was stories about gods and men, heroes and villians. It was during winters when my father would tell stories of what later became my deities of choice, Odin and Frigga, Balder and Nanna, Thor and Sif,  Loki and Sigyn, Freya and Frey, Tyr, Skadi, Uller, all the gods and goddesses. He also told stories about the Greeks and the Romans, but they weren’t as interesting.  

Then my parents got divorced and we moved into town.Winter lost its charm then, with grey plowed slush and work with no end and the only legacy that was left was the pain and dark. And winter has meant that for me for most of my adult life.

I know that as a pagan, and a Nordic worldview one at that, that I am supposed to be comfortable with the changes of seasons. I have had teachers rail against my dislike of winter.

Part of my dislike is my wrong thinking about winter in the city. I am adjusting my view, because cities live as much as country lives. Even if you mistakenly disregard the spirits of the buildings, roads, trees, cars, the great energy in what has been built, there is enough living in a city to have its own life.

This year if I choose to see something beautiful about winter every day, that it will not be a trial, but joy.

The Lord of Winter came to me and loved me and renewed my joy.

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