The first snowflakes have hit the ground and mittens and hats have been pulled out of dusty boxes from the attic. Winter has greeted us and for the first time since moving to Minnesota four years ago, I welcome it.

Minnesota gladly embraces the rhythms of earth and time.

I anticipate the rest that winter brings with its long nights and inviting indoor activities from which spring all our guarded summer ambitions of creativity. We have stocked up on puzzles, paints, crayons, and construction paper.

I anticipate the exhilarating first steps into cold air that remind me of my breath, and therefore my existence.

I anticipate the sweetness of cold, red baby cheeks that shine with delight at falling snow as they wonder, where does it come from?

I anticipate long story times with a lap that is happy with children and donned with a warm blanket.

I anticipate floating marshmallows on a pond of hot chocolate.

And come February, I will sing a new song of anticipation.

But for now, winter.