January 14, 2013

Wishing For A Winter

Okay, so I heard this on NPR, read it on redOrbit and Huffington Post, and have had myriad discussions with people about it. What is it, you ask? The freaking heat. As redOrbit reported, 2012 was the hottest on record for the lower 48 states, and since I am writing this on January 11 and it is about 70º Fahrenheit where I am, I would say that trend is continuing. And I don’t like it.

I am a fan of seasons. I enjoy the renewal and growth of spring as much as I do the rains that bring them. I like the warmth of summer, and I adore the quiet beauty of autumn’s changing leaves. But I also appreciate the cold of winter. On one level, I appreciate that the trees and bushes are dormant and resting up for spring and summer. On another level, the dead flowers and plants make me welcome them while they are alive and growing. Winter is a time for rest and renewal. I like that.

My preference is autumn with 40º-60º Fahrenheit temperatures, but I also like snuggling up on frigid winter days or bundling up to fetch coffee on a cold winter morning. I like the potential for snow to cover the ground, but that has not happened for me in a couple of years, and I miss it. Sure, I have seen dustings, but I mean real snow that blocks us in so that all we can do is read, watch movies, and spend time curled together. If last year’s heating up continues, I will not be able to do that for a while.

I also really love winter clothes. I am no fashionista, but there is something about layers and sweaters and tall boots and long wool coats with pretty scarves that just make me feel warm. If it keeps warming up, we will not be able to bundle up in such digs. I know; this is vain and superficial, but it is still a reason why I love winter.

Naturally, I like the light and warmth of other seasons, but the dark and cold of winter help me to appreciate that which I prefer. If I did not have to jog at 6:00am when it is so dark in the winter, I would not enjoy the pleasure of jogging while the sun rises at the same time in the late spring. Each season brings something worthwhile and important.

Beyond my personal love for seasons, a hotter year is indicative of more troubling issues like climate change impacted by global warming. This is obviously more important than just a simple love of the changing seasons. To compound the higher temperatures, the 48 contiguous United States also experienced eleven weather disasters, the most concerning of which was the devastating and persistent drought.

Science shows that warmer temperatures in combination with drought equals no good on so many levels, not the least of which deals with crops…crops that feed us all. I do not have the answers to the high temperatures and drought and weather disasters, but I know that we must all be concerned with these. Perhaps we should at least be aware that temperatures rose last year and are continuing that trend even today. Awareness can sometimes be the best first step toward solving a problem.

Until then, though, I’m going to keep hoping for a winter.

Image Credit: Michele Paccione / Shutterstock

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Email


Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

Send Rayshell an email