I'm grateful for the seasons but particularly winter.
Winter was a magical time when I was a child. The slow wait for Christmas then the day finally dawning and descending the stairs to see what Santa had left. Memorable gifts like a table hockey game, reel to reel tape recorder and one year cross country skis - initially a great disappointment as I had been lobbying heavily that year for a family snowmobile.
In his great wisdom, Santa brought the skis instead knowing they would be better for my health and safety as well as the environment. It only took a few adventures into the woods to realize that cross country skiing was a superior way to experience winter.
Outdoor hockey was another great pleasure of winter. Games on the river or pond would run until dusk when we would come home, have dinner, then go back out to take shots under the single spotlight of the rink we built each winter on our driveway.
Other days we'd hike out across the windy causeway to the Big Hill - our town was full of practically named places like the Big Hill, the Big Rock and the Little Beach. A good run down the Big Hill on a toboggan or magic carpet would take you out onto the river ice. There was always open water by the bridge, but we'd never glide that far.
The magic of Christmas and winter activities may be dulled by the passage of time, but there still is something special about a crisp clear winter's day. I'm grateful for these moments.