It’s the season with the shortest days. The temperatures are typically lower, and there may be snow on the ground. For readers, it’s the perfect time to snuggle up indoors by the fire and read. Beyond books, Edith Sitwell said, “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
Symbolically, winter is cold, dark and loneliness. In Jacob’s Room, Virginia Woolf wrote: “Melancholy were the sounds on a winter’s night.”
It’s seasonal, unavoidable, but also beautiful and still. We cycle through: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. On Nov. 8, 1858, Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Nature has many scenes to exhibit, and constantly draws a curtain over this part or that… Lately we had a leafy wilderness; now bare twigs begin to prevail, and soon she will surprise us with a mantle of snow.”
There’s a magic, chilly mystery and icy splendor. In Les Misérables, Victor Hugo writes: In winter there is no heat, no light, no noon, evening touches morning, there is fog, and mist, the window is frosted, and you cannot see clearly. The sky is but the mouth of a cave. The whole day is the cave…. Frightful season! Winter changes into stone the water of heaven and the heart of man.”
And, then, there are days of sun. Gustave Flaubert (famous author of Madame Bovary) writes: “Are the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins.”
Winter starts in a simple enough way… In Snow Like Ashes, Sara Raasch writes: “Even the strongest blizzards start with a single snowflake.”
As we watch the snowflakes come down, or walk through the icy snow, we also become introspective. As Terri Guillemets writes: “Winter is the slow-down / Winter is the search for self / Winter gives the silence you need to listen / Winter goes gray so you can see your own colors…”
What are your favorite lines about winter? Please share your thoughts and/or post your favorite below?