There are a lot of good things to be said about winter.
In fact, one could even write about them, the good things, painting word pictures about the pristine beauty of snow and the sharp, crisp thrill that some people experience when they are actively participating in winter activities where you can see your breath. Activities like skating or skiing or ice fishing.
Of course, others of us experience no thrill, only cold.
I must admit I fear I often fall into that group.
And, at the moment, I can think of one thing, and one thing only that’s good about winter.
This fact came home to me last Sunday when I finally put the snow shovel away. It had been sitting on the deck, looking rather out of place, propped up beside the barbecue. It was resting within a stone’s throw of my backyard lilac tree, now dressed in delicate mauve and smelling delicate, too, like spring.
Lilac blossoms make me thing of gentile things like tea being served in China cups and cucumber sandwiches and classical music and lace doilies.
Snow shovels do not conjure up any of those images for me.
Last night, I served supper out on the deck which was now minus the snow shovel.
And if I say so myself, the ambiance was to be envied by the less fortunate.
The sun hadn’t yet retired for the evening and everything was bathed in mellow yellow. The little herb garden that I planted with a great deal of hope and faith, and no less determination, was starting to look perky – like someone truly cared about it. And I swear I could smell the mint I had planted when I walked by carrying the freshly barbecued hamburgers.
It was quite awesome, actually, and I tried to imagine what would be better.
But, somehow, I couldn’t.
“It’s nice out here, isn’t it,” I remarked to my husband.
“It is,” he agreed.
A room with a view, I think quietly to myself, as I looked up and see the first evening star playing hide and seek in the darkening summer sky.
“You can’t pay for stuff like this,” I murmur. “You can’t buy stars.”
In the distance, we can hear the sounds of the resort town in which we live as the nightlife slowly begins to stir and finally starts to rock ’n’ roll.
Summer in a resort town is packed full of expectation and fun. The sidewalks are teeming with people, leaving behind their winter inhibitions along with several layers of clothing.
People stroll down Main Street savoring ice cream cones, letting the delicious coolness melt slowly on their tongues. Parents push strollers and hold toddlers by the hand as the sun caresses them with its golden fingers.
Young people with cellphones and blue jean shorts and bare feet provide their own instant sunshine.
And, in the background, there lies the lake. A blue oasis. Welcoming. Waiting.
The lake has so much potential. Water-skiing, boating, fishing, swimming or simply claiming a beach towel worth of sand for your very self and watching your children dig a tunnel all the way to China using numerous buckets of water and a plastic shovel.
I smile as I remember.
I do believe in my lifetime I have been there and done all of the above.
I guess that is why being in my very own backyard is exactly where I want to be.
And, I know without a doubt, there is a lot to be said for the privilege of owning a room with a view.
And catching a glimpse of the very first star.
Treena Mielke is the editor of Rimbey Review.