Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Dear Winter,

Excuse me, but there’s no nice way to put this. Darling, you’ve outstayed your welcome. At first you were exciting—even mysterious—with your mountainous snowbanks reaching for the steely sky. You were delightfully dangerous, the way you menaced unsuspecting pedestrians with your sharpened icicles. And your bitter winds brought my wandering heart back to the laptop and the coffee. Don’t get me wrong; I appreciated you. Truly, I promise; I loved the glint of falling flakes like diamond dust in the air, loved the darker days when the world pressed in close to my window as I hammered away at my novel, loved the chill that nipped at my nose. You had so much to offer, so much doom and gloom to mingle with the Christmas lights and the feasting and the cottony nostalgia.

But then you had to ruin everything. As the old adage goes:  “After three days, fish and friends stink.” Well, I gave you a LOT longer than three days. A foot of snow falling overnight seemed rather a charming idea—the first few times. But when the piles at the end of the driveway began to surpass me in height, I knew you had gone too far. And your icicles lost much of their charm when they started tumbling down at the worst possible moments, banging and shaking the house like we were under attack. So distracting. Then the short days got depressing and claustrophobic, and everything began to drag. You took life, put it in slow motion, and misplaced the controls. If I were you, I would start looking before people attack you with pitchforks—the good old-fashioned way.

Seriously though, it’s spring. In other words, time for you to LEAVE. I should be able to see broad swathes of grass by now, maybe even the first few flowers. Frankly, I ought to be able to plant my garden soon (says the woman with the black thumb—don’t ever take botanical advice from me). Winter, you’re cramping my style.

When this is all over, I’m probably going to need counseling just to deal with all the emotional scarring—like that traumatic vacation week I had to shovel every day (at least, that’s how it felt). Not cool. Every time I see hot cocoa or mittens or plow trucks, I get this irrational urge to walk outside—barefoot—with short-sleeves and shorts. And I might just punch the next person who sings the FROZEN theme song (which will probably end up being me).

If I haven’t made myself sufficiently clear (since you can’t seem to take a hint), let me put it plainly. I’m breaking up with you. All those short days we spent together—well, they’re over. I have a thing for spring (and poetry too). I’m thinking green, sunshiny thoughts. I’m yearning for blue skies and warmth and pollen (not the allergies though). All those gifts you couldn’t give me, no matter how hard you tried, and I don’t fault you for that. But enough is enough—can’t you tell when no one wants you around?

As I said, you were fun…for a time. Then I started needing a change of scenery. Hate to say it, but that’s life. Don’t take it personally though, since I’ll eventually tire of spring (what am I even saying?), and I’ll get bored with summer and autumn in turn. Come December 2016, I’ll be wishing you back again. Thing is, I can’t look forward to your return if you NEVER LEAVE.

From this moment on, I’m just going to ignore you. I’ll stop obsessively checking the window like a crazy person to see if the snow is gone yet (not that I do that, or anything). I’ll grab my favorite books, spread a quilt out on the lawn, and recline with a glass of lemonade in hand. As my fingers stiffen with frostbite and my body temperature plunges to dangerous levels, I’ll console myself with the notion that my demise will be your fault. (Who am I kidding? I would never be that puerile.) I’ll listen to birdsong on my iPod and paint tropical scenes on every wall in the house.

Sooner or later, you’ll just have to take the hint.

Elizabeth Joy Brooks

P.S. Check the Southern Hemisphere. Maybe someone wants you there.

Dear Spring,

I realize this might not be the best way to start our relationship, since we’re just getting to know each other again and all. But this is insane—you are obscenely late. And I can’t frolic in dandelion-filled meadows until you come.

All best,
Elizabeth Joy Brooks



  1. I hope you have a successful breakup soon! I'm enjoying the late snows here, but it was also nice to see the daffodils popping up at dinner today. :) Happy spring!

    1. Thanks! You have flowers already? Ah well, I'm glad you're enjoying the remainder of the snow. We still have a fair amount, but the lawn has bald spots now, and we have a chipmunk hanging around out front. Also we posted a sign that says, "It's spring", and we put up a sun umbrella and chairs and various lawn care equipment. This should aid my breakup with winter. :)

    2. Oh yes, and happy spring to you too! :)

  2. THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE WANTS WINTER. I am sick of the heat here. Summer needs to leave xD

    1. TAKE OUR WINTER PLEASE!!!!!! I propose a trade; if you want our winter, I will accept your summer in exchange. How does that sound?