“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ― John Steinbeck

Winter arrived with a fresh batch of snow, making for a nice little walk around the city yesterday. I am pleased to see the snow before I head home to Seattle next week where it is currently a balmy 9c…and rainy. Still a step up from the daytime -7c here today.

There is much I appreciate in the colder months and never really having had a “true” winter growing up in the Seattle area I always feel like I need to really soak it in and capture it as it arrives, savoring the atmosphere and seasonal differences. Besides, I would take winter snow over winter rain any day. Photographically, these months offer something that makes these differences very appealing and ineresting to me.

Every winter, I am always very impressed with how quickly everyone here acclimates to the season and goes about their ordinary business without much hindrance. Where I come from, a hint of snow paralyzes the city and if it actually does snow,…well, its a massacre of epic proportions. Nothing really like that here, the streets are cleared and the sidewalks are mostly swept and ready for pedestrians going about their day.

After almost 8 years here, I still get excited about the winter months and when it snows, that excitement propels me out the door and seeking adventure even in a mundane fashion. Mostly though, winter offers a slowness and reflective period that I appreciate to some degree and will often join my cats at the window looking outside while enjoying the warm inside. Super curious, they like to watch the snow fall but are actually too scared to venture out on the patio and when they forget their fear, they try to lick the snow from their coats as fast as it lands.

Poland has taught me how to personally acknowledge the winter in a much different way and I have had to learn how to deal with long dark nights and short days with little sun, filling the off time with in house couch surfing and a variety of movies and books to facilitate that sport. And somehow the colder temperatures make it a bit more tolerable than the just grey skies of my home city. March is my least favorite month of the year and it is during this month that my attitude of winter may change quite a bit and begin pining for the warmth of spring. But, for now, winter still holds a bit of magic and is worth exploring. Of course with very warm socks on. “Gotta keep yer feet warm” as my friend up north says.

And so, here are a few images from yesterdays walk through Warsaw in the snow. Next stop, Seattle where a much different type of winter waits. And when I return to Poland, the winter that I have grown to love will still be waiting.

Enjoy and thank you for being here.