Winters in England aren’t terribly cold temperature-wise, but the damp and wind seem to creep in and settle in your bones sometime in November and there they remain until June. I never can seem to get warm, even though the temperatures rarely dip below freezing.
I don’t mind the cold really, never have. Anyone can find happiness in a sunny warm afternoon, but it takes creativity and resourcefulness to be content when the cold takes your breath away. Maybe growing up in New England thickened my blood, maybe I just have ice in my heart, but I’ll take freezing temps and mountains of snow over a hot, humid summer every day of the week.
English winters, though. They’re hard to bear. The wind never stops blowing. The air is just never not wet, even when it’s not raining. The nights are so long and the sun so scarce. They wear on you, make you cranky.
Until it snows.
It doesn’t happen often here, but when it does, it makes up for a lot of dark days, grey skies, and damp winds.
You wake up to a world transformed, white fluffy snow dusting 800-year old churches and smoothing out the stark edges of bare wet trees, acres of rolling fields blanketed and quiet, still dotted with sheep that are harder to pick out against a backdrop no longer painted with mud and sodden hay. The air is crisp instead of damp. The light is brighter.
Don’t tell me there’s no such thing as magic.