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Perspective: An appreciation of winter

Ice shelves, Lake Michigan
Paula Garrett
Ice shelves, Lake Michigan

Late last month a fresh snowfall began sometime after midnight. I may have been the only one on my block still up to see its arrival, and I began to feel just a little sad that winter was beginning its journey south.

One of the beauties of winter is the quiet. People stay indoors, their lawnmowers and sports cars dormant in the garage, along with the hoes and hose reels. Not being a real gardener, I enjoy the break from watering and weeding, but also the landscape of dried prairie grasses and empty seed pods.

I like inspecting fresh snow for tracks that the various creatures of the night made and watching the comings and goings on my bird feeder - a long wooden shelf just outside my double kitchen windows. Frequented by squirrels as much as mourning doves and sparrows, it’s quite the hang out. A new visitor this winter was the red-tail hawk that’s been cruising the neighborhood.

When it’s too cold to walk outside, I head to the indoor pool. I try to get the lap lane closest to the wide expanse of windows so that when I turn my head to breathe, I have a close-up view of the snow bank against whatever winter sky scape that day has brought. Winter from a summer vantage point.

And because I’m drawn to water no matter the season, I had to go see the shelf ice on Lake Michigan. Waves frozen in action, but the thaw is in sight.

I’m Paula Garrett and that’s my perspective.

Paula Garrett is a transplanted Southerner and a former WNIJ Blues host. She's passionate about music, travel, research, open water swimming and film.