By Levi Spring, Fresh Take –
an annual occurrence here in Michigan; winter is coming.
The older (I prefer wiser) I get the more I begin to fear the onset of winter and its bony,
empty, clingy outstretched hands. There is no tougher nor longer journey in life than that when
you must throw on boots, gloves, and a coat to cover your pajamas at 6:00 a.m. with your ice-
scraper in hand. All of this in order to make the attempt at de-icing your frozen vehicle so you
can make it to work/school on time. If you have lived here in Michigan for any extended amount
of time, and you aren’t like my migrating grandparents (who move to Florida every year
December-March), you know exactly what I am getting at here.
Even after the clearing of ice and the warming of your car (if it has heat that is), you will
still need to shovel the driveway and entrances/exits to the house. As if shoveling snow and
prepping your car in the mornings isn’t enough, what about simply trying to construct a full and
successful thought or sentence in your head while walking outside? Thinking is a near
impossible feat to achieve without having your cognitive processes interrupted by the intolerable
below freezing temperatures which are constantly hugging, squeezing, and prying the dear life
from you. Here is an example of my typical thought process while walking outside during the
winter, “I wonder where I put the… DAMN it’s COLD!”
Some would even describe our Michigan winters as purely depressing, well now that is
what I call Pure Michigan. People feel isolated because of the blankets and layers of white snow
covering and killing everything in sight. Minimal wildlife will be spotted and there is no colorful
nature to be seen. Another Michigan winter and another reason for us to hide and hibernate,
avoiding any and all interactions with other living beings. You can’t deny the facts, we will all
be snuggled under mounds of quilts and pillows, watching Christmas movies, and drinking hot-
cocoa for the entirety of next five months.
However, when I was a simple young boy living and growing up in East Michigan, my
outlook on this unstoppable seasonal event we call winter was much different. I miss the days
where I was ignorant to the cold and only viewed the snow as a potential igloo filled with fun.
What happened to our neighborhood snowball fights? When did sledding become so much more
painful and exhausting? My parents used to have to come and drag me and my little brother
home from out of the snow drifts every night during the winters, forcing us to get warm and stay
inside. Getting a cold back then might as well have been the equivalent of NOT having a cold.
Nothing could stop us children from turning the snowy winter into our personal playground.
I hope and wish for those of you who are beginning to age more rapidly like me, that we
find a way to put the magic back into winter. I know winter can seem like an impending doom
only arriving to wipe away the joys of summer, but maybe it is more than just that. A Michigan
winter is necessary in order for a Michigan spring to become sprung. Also, if no winter, we
would have no fall. No leaves changing colors and no cold or warm apple cider to drink. Maybe,
just maybe, we need to push through our selfishness and look past the negatives we associate our
winters with. If we can do this, then we can create a new found love for the forgotten season and
begin to see it for what it truly is. Michigan, a winter wonderland.