Editor’s note: We would like to thank Meghan Flaherty, writing coach at the Virginia Tech Writing Center for sharing with us this piece. If you would like to share yours, email us.

There is nothing more beautiful than a slap to the face by the cold, brisk wind when you walk outside to catch the bus to campus. I am not being sarcastic. As the days get shorter, and the nights get colder, some may wish for the seasons when the sun’s radiance warms their bones.

Meghan Flaherty headshot

Meghan Flaherty

However, I find peace in the cold weather. I am not immune to wearing a jacket (I still have to bundle up like everyone else), yet that punch in the gut from freezing weather reminds me I am alive. The wind howling by my window illudes me to believe a ghost is mourning, but it is just Earth saying hello as I prepare to head outside.

I truly feel most connected with nature, with life, when I am fighting against it. My cheeks may turn red, but it’s not because I am embarrassed, Nature! I am surviving. Mother Nature guides me through these chilly days because I have learned to appreciate the fight my body gives to experience the delicacy of the winter-covered world. Life is complicated and scary, but when I go outside and feel chills protrude my spine, I remember I am merely an observer to the adventure of life. I simply become inspired to live, to survive another year to fight against these temperatures again. To get another jacket from Costco to show off to my friend, the Earth…

Nature guides me, and it is inside me. During the summer, I melt into it, yet I am released during the winter to rebuild myself and create a new shell.

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