“I could never live in California, I would miss the seasons.” This is a statement that I’ve heard all of my life and until I spent a year on an island in Florida I guess I didn’t really understand it. I choose to live in Northern New York for many different reasons, the weather definitely being one of them. Let me explain.
Don’t get me wrong here, I absolutely loved waking up on a beautiful white sand beach with a warm breeze pushing the sea scent off the Gulf of Mexico, but after 365 days of that same morning it started to lose it’s novelty a bit. Throughout that year, we would occasionally make the trip north to see family around the holidays and it was incredible to drive up the coast and watch the landscape change before our eyes. The greens get greener and the hills get higher. It was invigorating to experience and that simple change in surroundings is what prompted me to move back to NY. I officially missed the seasons!
With a personality like mine, I need change. I need that feeling like I’m going somewhere, like I have to bottle the moment because I may never see it again. It’s that feeling of constant evolution that oddly enough allows me to slow down and embrace the now. This struck me hard this morning because we woke up to our first significant snowfall (at least enough to stick anyways) and it felt so great to tread through fresh powder to get to the studio wood stove. It was new, it was fresh and it got me thinking as I sat there at 5:30 on a quiet and still morning with fluffy snowflakes falling silently outside the window.
I believe the reason why my mood changes so much as the seasons come and go is because of the memories that I have associated with them. When I think of snow the first image I have is my Father in a fur hat snow blowing our backyard in a circle, creating a huge mound of snow so that my sister, brothers and I could play king of the mountain. I think of hot cocoa, I think of ice fishing, I think of wood fires, I think of snowboarding, I think of wool, I think of hearty dinners and smooth red wine, I think of afghans, and good books.
The next thing I thought about was how much the weather impacts the activities I do. “The changin’ of the seasons, brings a reason for changin’.” This is a lyric from my song Best Days off my last solo record Tied To The Rail. There are so many things that I love to do in the winter time and when the snow flies those activities come back into my mind and I get really excited.
So as I write to you from a fairly warm studio (its getting there) I encourage all of us Northern New Yorkers to not look at winter like we’re going into the abyss and instead be grateful for the change and the fresh future ahead. Get excited and get outside.
Nicole and I love to winter hike. We let our trusty farm dog Judo lead us through the winter wonderland with our Jet Boil camping stove, white chicken chilli and some hot cocoa. We look for a comfortable spot to just sit, relax, talk and enjoy each others company while the skies shimmer from the falling snow and the trees creak like they do only in the winter.