The day started out with a chill to the air.  After what seemed like an endless parade of dry and hot days, finally fall had arrived.  Clouds sank further and further, obscuring the tops of the mountains.  An occasional glimmer of gold peaked out from the fog that seemed to envelope our house.

As quickly as fall arrived, it was gone.  With the setting of the sun, came dropping temperatures.  And then, something white floated down from the inky black sky.  Then another one.  And another one.  Snowflakes one after another whizzing down, melting on the deck from its warmth.

By morning, the white coated all the deck railing, the trees and the dirt road in front of our house.  We’ve officially welcomed our first snowfall of the coming winter.  The sight of the snow brings memories back of my childhood.  Of sitting at a desk, as the flakes start to come down, and suddenly, we no longer cared what the teacher said.  Of sledding all day, and drinking brimming mugs of hot cocoa covered in tiny marshmallows.

As I post the photos to Facebook, friends express surprise and horror.

“Oh my God, snow already!”

“Snow?  It’s 80 degrees and sunny in Philadelphia.”

Yet, I find my mood buoyant as if a huge weight has been lifted off of me.  As I drive to work, I marvel at the steep granite walls that make up The Narrows, the steepest part of Boulder Canyon.  All the jagged outcroppings are dotted with specks of white.  The branches of the cottonwood trees are rimmed with snow like frosting on a cake.  Combined with the golden hue of their leaves, it is breathtaking.

As I run along the Boulder Creek path, my breath leaves misty clouds above my head.  At first I feel chilled, but then I warm up.  The brisk temperatures spur to move even faster and as I log the miles, I feel invigorated.

I know I am in the minority.  Most of my friends lament the advent of shorter days and colder temperatures.  They hope for more Indian Summer weather where they can wear shorts and T-shirts.  “I don’t want to give up my flip flops!” they lament to me.  Meanwhile, I rejoice as I slip my socks and boots on.

I feel hopeful and relaxed.  As I drive towards the mountains the snow on my way home, I start to sing along with the radio.  For now, I can let go of thoughts of wildfires and instead envision gliding through the snow on skis.

Winter is coming and I couldn’t be happier.