“Embrace Winter”


Saturday afternoon I reluctantly head to the hardware store to buy a long-handled scraper and a shovel.  When I ask the man standing nearby how to extend the handle of the plastic shovel I’m holding, he shakes his head.  “You need metal.  Something you can chip ice with.  Plastic will break.”

“What have I done?” I think, having eluded even the need for a shovel for the last eight years. Three seasons of the year are easy for me to greet.  And, then there’s the season Chicago seems to be entering with vehemence extra early this year.

So, when I wake on Sun. morning to the words “embrace winter” in my head, I am more than a bit surprised. Of course, no instructions follow.

Walking home from the “early” church service, I wonder what the lake shore looks like in the snow.  Piling on layers, I make my way toward what one man delightfully calls the “Sweetwater Ocean.”  The wintry air feels strangely invigorating as snowflakes gather on my pumpkin-colored scarf.


At the beach, I watch as dogs and masters and kids play.  Standing on the edge of the shore, I turn to the sound of Canadian geese behind me. A flock of about 50, followed by 3, followed by 1, honk loudly as they fly directly overhead.  Wait,  I had set out to “embrace winter” and the “whoosh” of energy I just experienced made me feel as though I had just been embraced.

By “leaning in” to winter, had some of its wonder “leaned into me?”  And, if so, what else do I, do you, want to embrace?