I can live with the cold.
I can even live with the darkness that goes along with residing this far north. But this Georgia boy was raised on sunshine, and it's sorely missed during the Finnish winter. We were lucky if we got a just a few hours of the good stuff in a week's time.
|Frozen fingers claw toward the ground, but their reach exceeds their grasp.|
The snow, when it comes, does help by reflecting light back upwards.
Also appreciated are the brightly colored facades of rural homes and out-buildings, as well as the beautiful and unpredictable - if inconvenient - gifts that are unique to the season, like this ice-locked chain (left and below).
It's easy to romanticize about idyllic country living when you're traipsing through snowy woods on your way to retrieve water from a spring-fed well...but easier still to mentally gloss over the hardships that inevitably accompanied such a lifestyle.
During the winter, it's easy to make excuses for not going outdoors.
"It's too cold."
"The ground is too slippery."
"I don't want us to get sick."
The reality is that it's just a perceived hassle to get a little guy all bundled up, gloves secured, ears covered, and shoes strapped on, just to go outside and have your face insistently gnawed at by the wind.
Ten minutes later you're wondering which will more likely result from staying out; collapsing under the weight of six layers of clothing, or catching your death of a cold.
A toddler, on the other hand - well, at least one that I know of - just doesn't care.