Winter Begins – Now the Real Cold Starts

New Moon – Snow Moon Begins (and it is, indeed, snowing out).

What does Winter Solstice mark? I call it “midwinter” – and, in a milder climate like England or California, maybe that’s the case. Maybe the temperature follows the light levels (or the precipitation) really closely. In Ottawa, however, the longest night marks the point where the local climate switches from “early winter” in to “real Winter”.

The temperature dropped sixteen degrees over the 24 hours between the evening of the 22nd and the evening of the 23rd. The balcony – which I was using as a chilling space (the fridge being full) for the wine and the juice – well, my fingers tried to stick to the screen door, the door itself tried to freeze shut (lots of condensation inside), and the juice was slush when we brought it in. (I’m hoping the wine fared better, since it would be a damn shame to have that go frozen on us, but there was still frost on the glass when we brought the bottles in).

I can mitigate my SAD symptoms to a degree because I do office-work for half-days instead of full-days – which means I’m walking home at high noon rather than at (or after) sunset. Which makes a BIG difference, even when it’s overcast.

But the cold? That’s what makes January such a painful month to get through. When it’s -15 (which isn’t That Cold, but isn’t easy, either) and the wind is making it colder and you’re slogging over ground that’s alternating between soaking, salt-laden slush and out-and-out ice… That’s what really gets me down. By the time the days are noticeably longer in early February, I am SO ready for Winter to be done (and yet I know I’ve got another interminable eight weeks or so to get through before the cold is really well and gone).

So. Solstice has come and gone. Long Nights Moon is passed and Snow Moon has begun. We’re through the gate and into the territory of the Ice Queens now.

Bundle up. It’s cold outside.

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