suddenly, this winter

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Winter came upon us without warning. On the first day in November this year, temperature dropped drastically, the snow came, and suddenly, it’s winter.

Despite almost living my whole life here in Toronto, I never quite got used to its cold climate. I was born a winter baby, that didn’t help much either. My husband thinks I should pick up a winter sport. I have tried skiing a few times in my life, but after a couple of “near-death” coming-down-a-baby-hill situations, I have decided skiing was not for me.

That being said, I love when it snows heavily, the air becomes calm and the world quiet, the smell of fresh air is chillingly wonderful, the whiteness of fresh layers of snow covering the earth. There is something mysterious and magical about it that I love.

And I like to walk the streets at this time, looking at the warm lights illuminating the windows of the houses, white smoke coming out of the chimneys, imagining how families are kept warm and cozy and together. Sipping a cup of hot cocoa or apple cider, perhaps reading together? Getting ready for the holiday season? Cooking up a storm? These thoughts warm my heart, reminds me how lucky I am to have a cozy home with my husband when there is a storm outside.

And then I think about the homeless, the unlucky ones, the forgotten ones, the sick ones, the abandoned ones, the lonely ones, who are out there in the cold, carrying probably nothing but a cold heart. I feel the urge to reach out to the communities who are underprivileged, often being brushed off to the side of the road like dirt by our society. I feel like reaching out and providing them with a chance to tell their stories, which will empower, and validate them as human beings just like anyone of us who manage to stay in a good place (for now, who knows about the future?).

I have had this urge many, many, many times, but I have not acted upon it. Every year, I let opportunities pass me by, and busied myself with work and family. In writing this blog post, I am taking the first step, making my mission known (to myself), acknowledging it in writing, to make a commitment to myself that I will follow up on this and make it happen.