Warrior Words: A cold welcome

Slowly and in small intervals, it’s been coming to my attention that the winter will be closing in on us soon, and if there is one thing to be said of Wiltonian winters, it’s that they deserve introduction.

Through the power of the Internet, I can tell you easily that winter “begins” on Dec. 21, but New England has the peculiar quality of ignoring a prerequisite like that altogether — it is Nov. 6, and I have lived here long enough to understand that it won’t be long now until all the trees are naked and nobody’s wearing shorts anymore (knock on wood). I sense it in the way I do almost anything these days. I am reverting ever inward toward unconsciousness, seeking out warm and soft places wherever I go. My waking hours shorten with the sun’s, and at the rate my layers of clothing are thickening, it seems that my senior superlative will be “Best Cosby-esque Sweaters.” It is with this observation that I bring forth my thesis: the winter is turning me back into a child, or some sort of hibernating animal. The second option would not at all surprise me.

It should be stated that even after 10 years of life in this town, I still have not quite yet adjusted from the New Jersey winters on which I was raised. My parents neglected to inform me before moving that I would soon grow sick of “White Christmas” and pretty much any other song forecasting snow. Our winters are so consistent in their precipitation and frigidity that global warming often seems like a distant myth. In the three-minute interval it takes to walk from one’s car into the high school, an onslaught of icy gusts can create the impression that it will never, ever be warm again, and that perhaps it never was in the first place.

But my dread comes too early — it is, after all, still early November, and I would be lying if I said that there were not things about this time of year which enchant me. For instance, in my childlike state, I spend far more time walking through the woods, watching it transform before me, as its trees are currently in a great state of undoing. For a brief time it will resemble a renovated room, devoid of any dress, mercilessly stripped of any flattering aspects. I wander about in these parts for hours, watching my breath and paying no mind to the time until the light grows so dim between the tree trunks that I must wander out of the skeletal forest and back onto familiar asphalt to make my way home.

I encourage you to, at your convenience, spend some time in any vague patch of wildlife you can find while you still can. In the next few months, they will all be inundated with a thick snow that requires taller boots, a thicker coat, and a more firm resolution toward the cold. That is, if “White Christmas” holds true again …

Tyus Southern is a senior at Wilton High School. He shares this column with four classmates.