The first day of winter was just a week ago, but it’s a fact about which I have heard more than one complaint. Many people deplore the end of the beauty of autumn and the arrival of the chill of winter; however, I say that what is about to begin is the most wonderful season in ours, the most scenic of states.

Some say that spring is our best season, with winter’s icy grasp finally broken and new life springing up from the ground. I say that spring is a dreary season, full of mud and bugs.

Some say that summer is our best season, perfect for swimming, hiking, boating and fishing. I say that summer is a season of heat-induced lethargy and crowds, and that it has a distinct talent for inflicting at least one unpleasant burn before it comes to an end.

Some say that autumn is our best season, with a crispness in the air and the beauty of multicolored leaves on all the trees. I say that autumn is a season in which we must watch the beautiful green leaves of our trees be pumped full of toxins, discolor, wither and finally die.

But winter — winter has a simple and beautiful perfection to it. In winter, the moment we step out our front door in the morning, the air will whisk away any remnants of sleep, leaving us alert and ready to face whatever this new day might hold.

As we shovel the snow that fell overnight out of our driveway and off our sidewalk, we get not only some of the exercise that all too many of us lack in our daily lives, but also a quiet moment to think our thoughts or contemplate the beauty of winter.

As we come in out of the cold, what could be better than a cup of hot tea or coffee? Or hey — why not a cup of hot cocoa? Surely we have earned one cup after all that shoveling.

As we get ready to go to work or to school, we can look forward to the fact that no matter what else our day might hold, at least we probably will get to spend most of it in a warm building.

Once we arrive, a quick dash through the cold to the entrance should leave us just that little bit more alert and ready to get down to work. If we are lucky, we may get to sit somewhere or walk through somewhere that allows us to regularly steal glances out a window and see the majesty of a world wreathed in snow and ice.

As lunch arrives, we walk through that same door we entered through hours ago and are back out in the chill embrace of winter.

Maybe we want to pick up something for lunch or maybe we just want to take this opportunity to stretch our legs. Either way, by the time we get back inside, the winter wind will have snatched that midday lethargy right away from us, leaving us alert and ready to face the second half of our day with our eyes wide open.

Finally school is over or our work is done, and we can head home. One final dash through the cold, refreshing air and, at last, we’re back in our house. A quick peek out the window: Has it snowed enough that we should shovel tonight? No, best wait till morning.

While making dinner, as we wait for our water to come to a boil or our oven to heat, we can look out the window and see that the hoarfrost has given the trees a new coat of leaves, snow white or sparkling in crystalline glory. As we eat, we can see the many colored lights sparkling off the ice and snow.

Finally, dinner is done, and the dishes are clean. Our work for the day is at an end, and we can relax. As we read our book or chat with those near and dear to us, snow falls outside our window and we can see the crystalline patterns that the frost makes as it climbs our window. At long last, we can close our eyes and drift off to sleep with the gentle sound of snow falling on the rooftops.

Better than the mud and bugs of spring, better than the lethargy of summer, even better than the death watch of fall, winter is the best of all the seasons here.

Justin Simon is a resident of Portland.

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