I have always loved winter, and it's only recently that I have realized that's a statement of privilege. My lights turn on in the long dark nights, I don't worry about whether I'll be able to pay to keep the heat running, and I'm not lacking in tough boots and warm woolen layers. I'm safe and comfortable, knowing I have a haven from winter when it settles in, temporarily snuffing out all the life around me. I'm lucky that it has never been a threat with real teeth.
It's true that life is easier at the opposite end of the season spectrum. But it's the sense of urgency that winter imposes that I thrill to. It's a unique satisfaction to pile on layers of clothing and make the trek to the brewery around the corner, walking quickly because, despite my best efforts, the cold is steadily seeping under my coat. It's a relief to barrel through the doors, shed the layers, and unwind the tightness in my shoulders that kept them unconsciously tethered to my ears for the whole walk. Before long, the only sensation of cold left in my body just clings faintly to my cheeks and fingertips.
It reassures me that I'm whole and alive, and that my biology does what it's built to do; a remarkable feat in such a contrary environment. There are plenty of other parts of winter that I love, too--the beauty, the hush, the cleansing of it--but it's the life spark that it triggers in my gut and lungs and numbed cheeks that I would so miss if I lived somewhere without winter.