I'm not a winter person. Actually, I really dislike snow. But today, the German winter is at the small portion of the Venn diagram, where the sun is warm enough, the snow is packed tightly enough, and the wind is calm enough, where even I can appreciate the winter landscape.

When I woke up and sat down at my desk to write, deer ran across the white landscape bathed in golden sunlight. Even I can appreciate that kind of winter.

I am fortunate enough to have a warm home to return to after my morning walk with Pepper (unlike the homeless freezing to death in the city every night at the moment). Yet, as a first-world-problem person, I am already dreading the shower I have to take today, not because of cold water but merely due to the cold after leaving the warm shower in my unevenly heated apartment.

The knowledge that there I'll have about two more winters before I'm leaving Germany for warmer weathers again, makes the winter even more special. Typically, it doesn't really snow where we moved to. It doesn't get as cold as it did this winter. Seeing the flat landscapes covered in snow is a rare treat that even I can appreciate.

Considering climate change, I expect two more harsh winter before we leave Germany. Most of those will be cold, wet, and ugly gray. I hope there will be more days like today where even I can appreciate the beauty.

The rarer the beauty of today, the more important it is to pause and take in the world. Of course, I preferred the "winter" of Los Angeles and Auckland where it never really got cold, and I could go to the beach in the middle of winter without bundling up to the nose. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the cards I have been dealt.

We're going to be here another 2.5-3 years until I finish my bachelor and until I'm fully healed (which hopefully won't take as long as the bachelor). And then, we're going to move on. Australia? Mexico? Who knows. Definitely somewhere warmer, which makes it even more essential to appreciate the snow while it's here.

Kate Hildenbrand

Kate Hildenbrand

Kate Hildenbrand is the writer behind the essays here, author of fiction novels, the creator of the Kate Hildenbrand podcast, and a student of marine ecology. At least, that's her on the surface.