Spring is about emerging and fall is preparation – both dynamic brands. Winter, on the other hand, just is. Winter isn’t from anywhere or going anywhere. Winter is the here and now – our most existential season.
Winter’s brand traits are dignity and depth. There is majesty in winter that a frivolous spring day cannot match. Fall is too darn busy to pay attention. If the seasons were a royal court, winter would be king. (Fall would be chancellor of the exchequer.)
Winter has arbitrary power. If winter wants to close the airport and keep you waiting, well, there’s nothing you can do about it. On a whim winter will shut down your school. Snow day! – exhilarating words to a child – all thanks to a whim of winter. You don’t plan for a snow day. It just happens. You wake up, and the snow day is.
Winter reminds you to live in the present by breathing cold air down your neck.
Winter has presence. With benign intervention, winter surprises you with diamond-like sparkles in the light of a street-lamp. Winter’s chill reminds you to snuggle up with someone you love.
Winter’s counterpoint is summer – the Miller Light to winter’s Bud. You plan for summer. You have things you want to do in summer. You long for summer. You remember summer.
But winter just is. It is the season of being – not becoming. Winter settles into our streets and our bones and takes its own sweet time to make its meaning clear.