I’ve only just realised that it’s the last day of winter. That isn’t like me. That isn’t like me at all. Usually, I’m counting down the days with dread, wishing the cold season would just hang on and then some. But this winter has left me confused, worried and upset. I don’t know what to feel now that it’s going because it feels like it was never really here.
I was looking forward to a bitter winter in the North York Moors, but there’s been barely a scattering of snow, and the frost has been scarce. I can recall a video I made a few months ago when then was a flurry of snow, and I said ‘welcome winter’ in a quietly excited, relieved voice.
That snow hardly even settled, though, and we haven’t had any more since.
Today it’s been drizzly, bone-cold and just fucking miserable outside. Today’s weather isn’t what we should be saying goodbye to winter with. When the seasons are misaligned, so am I, and so, most likely, are you, even if you’re not fully aware.
England’s weather is one reason I know my future isn’t in this country. I need a proper, true winter more than any other season. Without it, I feel adrift. Without it, I can’t flourish.
Below is a poem I wrote in Canada in 2015, where winter was unforgiving and beautiful on mythical scales. My winter there was also the first time I experienced -30 and below temperatures. George RR Martin wrote, ‘Nothing burns like the cold.’ He was right. But how I crave it.