My summer fever is cured by winter episodes

My+friend+Allison+and+I+absorbing+the+beauty+of+Lake+Michigan+in+the+winter

My friend Allison and I absorbing the beauty of Lake Michigan in the winter

I spend many winter nights dreaming about one thing: summer.

As 2022 was coming to a close and I was reflecting on the moments that shined brightest in my memories, the majority took place within the summer months.

The most prominent were those that were spent in my favorite beach town: Grand Haven. The place I spent the bulk of my childhood summers residing in, soaking up the sun. 

It is where I would spend my days swimming, shopping, and enjoying life with my family and friends. A place they may seem to others can only be enjoyed in the depth of summer. While its presence glows brighter within those three months, I am one of the few who discovered the secret joy it provides in the winter season.

While its presence glows brighter within those three months, I am one of the few who discovered the secret joy it provides in the winter season.”

Part of me deep down wants to gatekeep this discovery, but it feels too cruel to not share my place of serenity with the people I cherish most. Though the vibe within the town has a different tone in the winter, its significance to who I am stays the same.

The extended break from the stresses of academic pressure led me to the decision it was time to introduce this other life to my closest confidants. As we made the 45-minute trek there, I introduced them to my favorite restaurant, stores, and even brought them to my grandparents’ house.

We walked a block downtown when my friends said we should drive to the beach. As I was agreeing, I was hesitant as I saw my favorite coffee shop approaching and insisted we stop inside. As I waited for my caramel macchiato, we sat on the ledges in front of the store window, taking in the midafternoon rush that was occurring. Pure bliss is the only way to describe this moment. New Year’s resolutions were brought up, and I decided that exact feeling is how I wanted to feel throughout the new year.

Observing my friends experience something that has brought me joy for so long made me yearn for more experiences like this one. Before returning to the weighted feelings that resided within the school halls we would soon be returning to, I hoped to find a new excitement for the last semester and all it may bring.

For the first time since I was a kid, I rediscovered the whimsical feeling I embraced when the snow falls in the small beach town. Staring out at the water as the ice covers Lake Michigan and listening to Snow On The Beach by Taylor Swift, the moment felt unreal. Serotonin flooded my system as a took this moment in and decided it would be a core memory.

The happiness sharing this day brought me was unmatched, and I will continue to cherish that town, snow on the beach, and iced coffee on cold days for as long as I can. 

Summers in Grand Haven may always capture the majority of my heart, but winter will carry the soft spot I consistently return to.