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A Temporary Truce with Old Man Winter

December 14th, 2019 by Michael Dyet

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” ~ John Steinbeck

Hmmm, is it possible to call a truce with my sworn enemy?

I am not now, nor have ever been, a fan of Old Man Winter. I do not like the cold or the short, gray, winter days when the sun goes into hiding. I especially do not like being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the drive to work.

But even a winter bear such as I, who hibernates for the season, can sometimes awaken and recognize, albeit briefly and grudgingly, the subtler virtues of the season. While it will never rival the rebirth of spring, the lush life of summer or the colours of autumn, I might give it its due.

It is a December Saturday. My Christmas shopping is done. My cupboard and fridge are well stocked with food. I have no need to go anywhere, my car is safely docked in the garage and I am comfortably settled on my couch. All is quiet and peaceful.

Since 9:00 am, snow has been falling steadily, persistently but gently. I did not expect it and at first was inclined to close the blinds. But as I stand at the window and watch, the fat, wet snowflakes tumble and swirl, spin and float, in a winter waltz that I cannot help but admire.

The barren branches of trees, lifeless for weeks now, are gifted with a pearly frosting. The red Christmas ribbon on the gate across the way wears an ivory bouquet. A waxen blanket has been spread over the ground masking the bleak browns and greys of yesterday.

One set of footsteps, soon to be filled in, marks the hidden sidewalk bearing witness to a passerby of a half hour ago. The rooftops are crested with fresh snow and the bushes are growing alabaster bear paws. An unexpected peace has taken hold.

I have not forgotten that there are three or four months of winter ahead. I know that I will curse the season more frequently as it wears on and shows its less inspiring qualities. I will long for spring and wish the cold away.

But at the moment, Old Man Winter does not seem so grim. In fact, he seems to have acquired and is showing off an artist’s touch. I am quite content for the moment to gaze out the window and admire the show. Usually sworn enemies, the Old Man and I have called a temporary truce.

For today, I will adopt Steinbeck’s perspective. I will enjoy the lively dance of the snowflakes and see them as an endless, swirling cloud of phantom fireflies planting the seeds for the gentler seasons yet to come.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

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