What Winter is Teaching Me

Growing up in Muscat, Oman, winter meant an average of 20 degree weather that was simply beautiful. After our extremely hot summers, winters were a welcomed and beautiful time of year. The sun still shone bright, and the cool air was the perfect complement.

Then I moved! First to New York, and then to Toronto, and winter suddenly means something very different. It was fun at first, and exciting and new. But now this is my 4th winter on this side of the world, and I’ve got to say, this year has felt like it's brought an extra intense dose of cold. I found myself complaining a lot and always wishing for what I didn’t have, aka: warmth and the sun.

Then one morning I was out walking, on my way to shoot some pictures, and I looked around at the sparkly glare of the snow layered on tree branches and I thought, ‘This is beautiful, and I am lucky to experience this’. It was like a light bulb went off and, all of a sudden, all I felt was immense gratitude and that is such a good feeling.  Yes, winter is cold, ferociously so in Toronto, but it is also beautiful. It is a part of life here, on this side of the world. I love aesthetics. I love pretty things. I love beauty. I guess what I’m realising is that there is beauty in everything, and we just have to be willing to acknowledge it and allow ourselves to be in awe of it. It makes life slightly easier.

I go for walks every weekend, no matter how cold it is, and to some that might seem crazy, but I love it because there is so much to see. So much beauty to behold in this world, and I want to see it all. I’m grateful to see it. It makes winter easier too, because when we accept something instead of wishing for something else life becomes a little more peaceful. We can always use more peace in this world.

So winter is teaching me to stay in the moment and enjoy being where I am. Summer will come, as it always does, that is kind of the beauty of how this earth works. Right now though I will wake up every day and choose to be grateful to experience life as it is right now. When the warmth comes I will choose to enjoy that just as much. Okay, I might enjoy it a little bit more. Today though, I am grateful to be able to experience this.