winter always comes
we wait, and we remember
winter always goes
Winter in Japan, while not as cold as winters in my Canadian home, can be a miserable time. I once read in a book on the Edo period that winters and summers in Japan were seasons only to be endured. The Japanese winter, at least in this quiet corner of Japan is invasively damp, and the cold is hard to escape. Japanese houses and schools are not well-equipped to repel cold, and people rely on electric heaters, kerosene heaters, heated carpets and the wonderful and seductive kotatsu – a heated table with a blanket that you can tuck yourself into on a cold night, and never leave.
Despite the cold weather, I like winter here. The snowfalls are gorgeous. As the temperature is rarely much below zero degrees celcius, the snowflakes are fat and fluffy, and fall with slow grace. In my thick coat, gloves and hat – overdressed by Japanese standards – I am warm and cozy as I walk. The snowy nights are peaceful. Snow only briefly stays in this city, so I enjoy its ephemeral beauty.
Still, I look forward to the spring, and warm spring days to come.