Many people prefer the fun, heat, and chaos of summer. Others glory in the renewal of life that spring brings. Fall is my favorite, however. I appreciate its transitional nature, as the land cools down and the grasses and leaves change hues. Fall sunsets, with their interplay of light and clouds, provide a sometimes magical ending to the day.

However, I also have respect and appreciation for winter. If we dance in spring, run in summer, and play in autumn, perhaps winter is the season when we quiet down and recharge.

Winter is a time for turning inward or perhaps turning in early. It’s a time for lighting the stove or fireplace and heating up a cup of hot chocolate. The quiet that winter often brings—amidst a noisy world of information overloaded—may be just the balm our lives need.

One simple reason that winter is quieter for some: stocking caps block out a lot of noise. The longer nights and colder weather also contribute to the quiet, perhaps, as many awaken later, especially on weekends. Even the birds, as much as I enjoy them, are not out excitedly greeting the mornings. Of course, the Canada geese still honk overhead, but to me that is a winter sound, a song of moving onward and seeking shelter or sustenance

Winter offers silence as a free gift. It is a time for pondering, perhaps for reading a good book. And, when it’s blanketed in snow—as it is on those rare occasions these days—it is exquisitely beautiful, almost enchanting. Furthermore, fresh snow seems to muffle sound.

Often in winter, we are in a hurry to get inside and out of the cold. Subsequently, winter gives us one more reason to be thankful: for the warmth inside, our refuge, a place to call home.