Wilton Warrior Words: Winter in Wilton

Ryan McElroy

Ryan McElroy

Hearst / Connecticut Media

For me, the end of fall and the beginning of winter is always indicated by the time it takes to get from the school bus into the school building. When I feel myself rushing to jump off the bus, cross under the bridge at Wilton High School, and launch myself into the building, all while seeing my frosted breath, I realize that winter has finally come to Wilton. Soon after, layers of thick snow coat our roofs and the surrounding nature as the already beautiful scenery of our town becomes magical with the falling coat of snow. Although the weather may be cold and the holidays a busy time for many people in town, winter is truly a special time in Wilton.

We all have traditions in our families related to winter and the holidays we celebrate. Some people in Wilton make a fun family trip to Ambler Farm every year to get their Christmas tree, while others take the time to cook a special meal and reconnect with their family. When we were younger, my family would always go sledding year after year on the hill in front of my house and various places around town. Clutching my worn sled and only a few steps behind my brother, I threw myself down the slopes and raced down the ice. The wind and still-falling snow chilled my face and those of many other kids who always came to enjoy the day outside. There was a shared excitement among everyone there about the afternoon of endless fun, as many kids of many different ages and their parents were brought together by the snow. Sledding together was a tradition in my family, but it was also an experience that brought together neighbors and people from all over town to the snowy hills of Wilton. It was the pure and simple enjoyment of winter that made us all feel connected to one another.

Winter can also be a time for great charity amidst the holiday spirit, as the season presents new challenges to those already struggling in some way. It is during this trying time that Wilton finds itself involved in many acts of kindness towards our neighbors. Whether it is donating winter coats and other gear to collection centers in the area, providing holiday baskets to our older neighbors who otherwise may not receive a gift, or helping someone shovel snow off their driveway, Wilton’s holiday season always includes service and charity for others. It is during this season that many people of all different ages and backgrounds are united by living in Wilton and a desire to help our neighbors.

The winter brings a common experience of holiday excitement, kindness towards others, and yes, shoveling snow from the driveway to Wilton. It is because of this universal sentiment that spending winter in Wilton is my favorite time of the year in this town. It reminds us of Wilton’s natural beauty, it provides the opportunity for family traditions, and it allows the best of Wilton to shine through the snow. This will be my last winter in Wilton before I go to college next year, and I know no matter where I go, there will never be another experience quite like the winter in Wilton.

Ryan McElroy is a senior at Wilton High School. He shares this column with three classmates.