By Kim Gyu Min (Busan)
When I think of the word ‘summer,’ I picture a cool atmosphere with the sun blazing over me; but with an occasional wind blowing and the blue sea stretched out in front of me. When I think of the word ‘winter,’ I picture a darker blue color (the color of the sky at dawn) with bare branches and tall trees looming in the countryside. As you listen to my descriptions it will seem as though winter is far from my liking, though actually, I love winter far more than summer. To answer the question why, though, I need to ponder deeper on the subject.
As we live through different phases of our lives, we pass through hard phases where the difficulties rise to meet us, and happy phases, where we have ample supplies (whether it is food or maybe friendship) around us. There are some people who give up on those hard phases, cowards who cannot rise to meet expectations, and also others who battle against those hardships and at last win themselves a pathway to success.
I believe that winter shows us those people who have met the hardships and battled with them, even though the people are weak and vulnerable. Winter is a season which strips the blossoming life out of every living creature and instead presents them coldness and bareness. In order to survive this bitter winter, you need to give up on your pleasures and instead focus on maintaining yourself. Winter kills those who lack the endurance to survive and gives a source for survival for those who are desperate to live. Summer, in contrast, is a happy phase of a person’s life, as it is vibrant with life and supplies. Winter urges us to endure hardships, and even though from the outside, winter seems bare, you can always find a way to shelter yourself from the bitterness. Picture those bare winter trees, standing firm in the cold however much the wind blows, however cold the weather is. I think that we have a lot to learn from the season winter, from the life that remains while humans shed it, from the ability and potential to stay strong even when others are weak.
Winter contains an inner beauty, if you have the time and wit to inspect it closely. Even though all seems taken from the bitter cold season, there is warmth inside the bitterness. I always remember the warmth of being close to family, huddled around the heater and exchanging memories with each other. Winter is a season where beautiful memories bloom in the heart of friendship and love. I can picture a dad in the 1980s, buying a hot fish-shaped bun, taking care to keep it warm and putting it in his coat pocket, and arriving home at last, to present gleefully it to his fellow family members. They would laugh and huddle in a tight group, body warmth keeping them snug, and exchange stories of what happened in the day.
Winter is such a beautiful season, with so many things to contemplate and so many things to inspect. It is a season we can learn so much from, and a season of blooming love.