“Winter is the time for comfort…it is the time for home”. Edith Sitwell.
It’s happening – the days are getting shorter; the weather is getting colder and summer already feels like a distant memory. Winter is here. Sitting here at the Toronto Writers’ Centre I cannot really complain about winter. Compared to the rest of Canada, Toronto has a relatively mild winter (remind me I said that when the driveway needs shoveling). However, winter is also beautiful. I must admit that I love the look of the fresh snow blanketing the ground and frosting the trees. It’s a beautiful time to take a walk in a wintry wonderland
Ever wonder why we call it winter? Winter derives from the Proto-Gemanic “wentruz”, meaning winter. This most likely derives from the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) “wed” meaning “wet”. Although I don’t recall a rainy winter, unless you live in and around Vancouver. The speakers of Germanic languages, like most of the Indo-Europeans, reckoned years by winters. People and animals would be “one winter old” when noting their age. To cite a parallel: there exists in English the word “twinter” which refers to sheep, ox, horse or cattle being two years old. Consider also Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 2, which begins: “When 40 winters have besieged thy brow” …
Winter is a cozy time, a time to curl up beside the fire on a snowy afternoon and get lost in a good book. It’s a favourite pastime of mine, when the snow quiets everything down, the light is soft and a good story beckons. So, whether you are 10 winters old, or 40 or 75, you can always nestle into your favourite chair on a snowy day and enjoy a good book.
Books I enjoyed in 2018:
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Educated by Tara Westover
Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Improvement by Joan Silber
Still Water by Amy Stuart, a TWC alumna.
Here are some of the books that are being adapted into movies for 2019. Let’s look forward to these!
Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy Holiday season and all the best for 2019.
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