Dear Winter,

The winter solstice has come and gone, and you are upon us at last. Your freezing breath turns my fingers purple, but I am filled with magnitudes of joy when I wake up and look out my window to see you’ve painted my entire world white. I am overwhelmed with happiness and welcome the lingering presence of peace, sitting on a couch somewhere, reading a book purely for enjoyment. As much as I’m exhausted waking up for school in the darkness and leaving to go home in the same endless black, I wouldn’t trade New England winter, or any of its seasons, for anything. How boring would it be to live in a place that is always bright and warm—where the excitement of going to the beach would fade, and where 50 degrees is considered frigid? I would be heartbroken without the opportunity to appreciate the first day warm enough to wear shorts, or experience snow days, or see the shift in the hallways, when everyone is holding hot Dunkin cups instead of iced drinks. 

You are the season of flannel, slippers, and hot coffee, of Speak Now and evermore, of movie nights and “happy holidays.” Thank you for giving me days to ski and days to eat soup, days to stare out the window and watch snow trickle down quietly over everything I can see. Your mornings are foggy but the few hours of light are unobscured, consistently calming with crisp winds and clear intentions. You are humble, and you never fight for the attention of anyone else. You simply surround the world quietly and one day I wake up and look outside, to be struck by your power to make the world clean, and everything is beautiful. You let me wear boots everyday without judgment, give me the chance to cover my bed in fluffy blankets, and fill my days with an endless stream of baking. You are also the time of seasonal depression, but I can forgive you if you give the world enough inches of snow. 

You are a new start, a time of reflection. The world is as unblemished as it will ever be, and yet, Winter, you are misunderstood. It is saddening to see the people who cannot appreciate you for all that you are. We appreciate summer all the more because of the three months of cold, but we can appreciate you because you give us everything the rest of the year does not. We are always preoccupied with the constant chaos of life, but during your time of year, we can take a break to look within. We feel the chill that freezes our toes in our sneakers and it wakes us up. Our senses are opened and cleared. We can look around and admire the beauty, despite the cold, and our perceptions grow.

I looked for a quote to articulate my feelings about winter: something insightful, phrased thoughtfully and much more poignant than anything I could write. I looked through pages and pages, and yet all I could find were words of motivation, that spring was right around the corner, that winter was long but the pain and the cold would make us stronger. Nothing valuing the season for its beauty or qualities or traditions. The only person with a sentiment I found honest and appreciative of the small and meaningful moments was the great artist Taylor Swift. She says, “I love the scents of winter! For me, it's all about the feeling you get when you smell pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread and spruce.”

Winter, thank you for everything.

Lots of love,

Lucy Newman ’25