Why does winter assume gender qualities? I’ve heard a great deal this winter of our discontent about “Old Man Winter” or “Mother Nature.” I don’t take winter personally, nor is it a person. But it sure feels like a pesky creature that keeps coming back to mess up our lives–an impersonal force that strikes without regard for human life, a great deal like other events (a tornado, earthquake, flood, hurricane, etc.).
Maybe by giving names to winter we are seeking ways to humanize it, give it a shape or form to which we can attribute purpose. Winter doesn’t purposely choose to hurt life on this planet. Some of what happens is the result of our own patterns of greed and misuse of the resources nature has given us. It’s not like some power out there is choosing to hurt us. “It is what it is,” a common response to what cannot be completely comprehended.
But in this winter of our discontent, keep in mind soon the snow will disappear, the robins appear, the flowers peek out from the earth, and we can walk once again in the warmth of sun and light.