I hate goosebumps.

This is why I don’t like swimming. I actually do like swimming but I really can’t stand the first immersion into the water – diving in, jumping in, or if the truth must be told, inching my way in like an old lady slowly step by step, even more embarrassing, gingerly putting some water on my shoulders.

Regardless of the mode of entry – cool or old lady-ish – the result is the same. Goosebumps!

Which is why I don’t like winter. I have never written about my love of winter, as I have of spring, fall, and, most rapturously, summer.

But I set out today to be more fair to winter, and I found the key.

It all boils down to coziness.

I believe that if I can make winter cozy, I can love it too.

I prepare myself like a public servant entering a hazardous waste area. I put on my heaviest jeans, then thick socks and tall heavy boots. A big sweater goes over my top, and then I wrap an enormous scarf around my neck. On goes my warmest coat, topped by a big velvet hat. Fur lined gloves finish the costume.

I have a short existential crisis, needing to reassure myself that I am, indeed, inside this costume somewhere.

And I set off determined to be positive about winter. I marvel at the cold clean air as I inhale deeply. I marvel at how truly frigid the air is and how warm I am inside my coat, hat, scarf, sweater, boots, gloves. I check for goosebumps. None! I feel warm. The only thing cold is my nose.

I think about how important my nose has become. Without it, I might think it is a warm summer day!

I walk through the city, Noticing how everyone else looks as huge as I do, in our many layers. The sky is clear blue. The air is fresh.

I am actually appreciating the winter!

But the best is soon to come.

I arrive back home and quickly get rid of the layers. As I trade my boots for cozy slippers, I have an idea.

I head for the kitchen to make hot lemongrass ginger tea – my favorite! Now you may wish for hot chocolate at a point like this, or maybe a hot toddy (if you are a bit risqué), but for me there is nothing better than my lemongrass ginger tea. 

I sip my tea inside my warm home and look out the window at the barren trees against the clear blue sky. I remember the clean, odorless icy air entering my nose. And I actually appreciate the goosebumpless experience I just created for myself on this frozen winter day. 

I tell my mug of hot lemongrass ginger tea that I love her. And then I realize the real benefit of winter.

Without winter, I would not savor coziness and mugs of hot tea. Without winter, I would not appreciate warm boots and a big heavy coat. Without winter, I would not know that I can, indeed, outsmart the dreaded goosebumps! Thank you, Winter.


©2015 Margery Leveen Sher


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