Winter is coming quickly. The wind's edges are sharper, dusk falls earlier, and the golden light fades into a grey palette. The arrival of winter has never been easy for me. This became especially true when I moved to New England from California and learned the importance of wool socks and leather gloves for the first time. From November through April, until all the snow had finally thawed and we could go down to the Charles River and sunbathe in what felt like a tropical 60 degrees, winter swaddled my mind and my heart. Sometimes it felt more like smothering.
It takes a hardy Californian to bear the tantrums of New England winter. One winter I made a nightly routine of drinking hot chocolate and eating a big bowl of popcorn while listening to Joni Mitchell's Blue on repeat. In our living room, my best friend and I would lay in our hammock (our "couch") together or paint and re-paint our coffee table, whose layers of pigment were like the growth rings of redwood trees, histories of sadness and joy.