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Day 11: Embracing the Seasons

I’m scared to death of winter.

Winter in Minnesota is hard — anybody who lives here will tell you that. Six months from the first snow to the last, face-numbing cold, day after day after day of grey skies. Winter is hard, but the summers make up for it. It’s just part of the deal.

Last year, for the first time, I made peace with winter.

Standing in September, I looked forward at the soul-crusing months ahead and said,

“Here’s to winter. May I be brave enough to let her have her way with me.”

And I was.

I burned candles and kept walking through the snow and wrote lots of beautifully angsty shit.

But now, I’m terrified to do it all over again.


A lot of people love fall. I am not a lot of people.

Don’t ge me wrong; fall is absolutely lovely. The crisp morning air. The bright blue skies. The leaves and pumpkin spice everything and the whole deal is wonderful.

But the subtext of fall is, “Summer is dead. Winter is about to kick your face.”

Summer is my best friend, and fall is his funeral.

Lovely, but it’s still a funeral, dammit. And winter is still coming to break us all.


But along with last years’ resolution to face each season bravely and let it wash over me came a new appreciation for fall. When I finally surrendered to the unstoppable reality of impending winter, I was able to celebrate those blue-sky October days for what they were. Not leftovers from the past, or harbingers of the future, but simply exquisite blue-sky October days.

I’m trying to stay in the moment here and greet each day with gratitude, but I’m starting to get scared.

Today was absolutely flawless. All the windows in my house are open, and a warm breeze is blowing through my living room. It should be 40 degrees in Minnesota right now. Instead, this October night feels like May.

And while I absolutely adore it, it feels to good to be true.

How do you enjoy flawless days when you know you’re on borrowed time?


I would like to dedicate these Taylor Swift lyrics to beautiful, flawless, tragically-brief Minnesota autumn:

I can see the end as it begins, my one condition is:
Say you’ll remember me standing in a nice dress,
staring at the sunset, babe. Red lips and rosy cheeks.
Say you’ll see me again even if it’s just in your wildest dreams.

I’m not going to look at the weather forecast tomorrow. I know this will end; I don’t want to know when.

Tonight I’m going outside to look at the stars and feel the last traces of summer brush against my bare arms. If I wake up tomorrow to snow on the ground — always a distinct possibility in Minnesota October — at least I had tonight.

Still, may I be brave enough for whatever tomorrow brings.

During the month of October, I’m joining the Write31Days challenge to talk about 31 Days of Becoming Human. Click here to read all posts in the series

published October 11, 2015

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