Winter is a special time. I suppose all of the seasons are. I find winter to be a struggle with disappointment which is relieved by exciting and meaningful moments. The main reason for this is the climate I live in. Wenatchee is a semi-desert region, so it is very dry. However, in the winter we get a lot of snow. The surrounding mountains give us the opportunity to play! Skiing it all its variety is available, and many people take advantage of it. I, at the moment, am really enjoying skate skiing. I plan to do some downhill skiing as well, that is, if I can find the time. So what did I mean when I said that winter is a struggle with disappointment? Well, sometimes there is no snow, and therefore no skiing. At times, we just get the cold, dreary, grey weather, and none of the white, fun stuff. When it does fall from the sky, however, it is magical. It transforms everything that you see outside into another world. The celebrations during winter also create moments that are very special. Diwali, Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the Chinese New Year just some of the many holidays that are celebrated in winter around the world. We humans are very connected to the seasons, and see them as representing meaningful parts of our own lives, as well as being part of the natural world. As we approach February, I see small signs of spring here and there. In the shops, a few flowers have appeared. They were grown either in other countries or 'forced' to grow early in greenhouses. Either way, I appreciate seeing them in their rows in the stores. They contrast with the snowy winter conditions; they really seem out of place. But you know me: I love flowers! I'll buy them in any season. So when it is a disappointing, dull, snowless day, I can cheer myself up by looking at the flowerpot on the kitchen windowsill.