Hideaway Fall Writing Challenge Day 5 – Ammil

Today brings a nice wintery theme for me to write about.

Today’s theme describes one of the things I love most about the winter period. I look forward to crisp, frosty days coming back.

***

Winter. My favourite season. The ever-present hope that I might actually get snowed in by a blanket of fluffy white snow. The inevitable disappointment when it fails to materialise. Cold days, earlier nights, thick jumpers and steaming mugs of something warming. And then there’s Christmas. Cheesy music and even cheesier films. Tempting food, colourful decorations and an almost-universal feeling of cheer. Nothing manages to dampen my childhood joy the season brings.

I love everything it offers. Most people seem to allow a little more joy into their lives. The sound of Christmas carols played by brass bands fill the air with wonderful sounds. Children shriek with joy, as Santas hold court on street corners and inside larger shops. Street vendors clamour for attention, hawking trinkets and tatt designed to snag the unsuspecting in an impulse purchase. And why not? Christmas is near! Food stalls seem to appear from nowhere, offering roasted chestnuts, a mug of something warming and very much for the grown-ups.

Shops heaved with shoppers looking for something and nothing. Decorations and the latest fads vying for your money, commercialisation doing nothing to mask itself. And yet, I love it all. No matter how bad things might seem, winter always brings a crispness that refreshes something deep within. Sitting in a coffee shop, choosing my poison from any one of the wide range of sickly-sweet seasonal drinks, I can lose myself to hours of watching people flit about in the cold winter air.

But my love for Christmas aside, that is not the best bit. Not the lofty fir trees covered in decorations, not the songs, the food, the films or even that wonderful festive feeling when looking at brightly coloured Christmas lights twinkling in the dark. No, the thing I love most is the sharp touch of Jack Frost, the cold air that bites at the skin under a vibrant blue sky. A walk through the park as the sun just begins to cast its first golden rays out over the land. My breath plumed out before me in the frigid air.

The lush green grass was paled with a painting of thick, crystalised frost. It glistened in the brightening sun. The first steps upon frosty ground gave a satisfying crunch underfoot. Trees still in leaf looked almost as though they had been dusted with a light sprinkling of snow. The landscape looked as though it was preserved, crystalised. That first frosty morning always held something for me, the first sign that winter proper had arrived. I could wander amongst the parks, and trees and bushes with their delicate coating until the sun slowly burned it off. Fleeting though it may be, the joy was in knowing that a pale coat of ice would return soon enough.

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