It’s like closing up a summer house, when the stillness of winter washes over cities. The snow Seattle was handed around the holidays made the buildings downtown look like they were covered with old floral sheets, windy across what could have been wicker chairs and wooden tables post-Labor Day.

My grandparents used to have this table at their lake house in Michigan with open-mouthed lions perched stately on each of its corners. I used to feed the lions bits of hot dog or spaghetti at our last dinner just before Labor Day. When the snow melted and we’d return in the Spring, I’d run into the house right after I arrived and check each lion for dried up bits of food, my mark from the year before. What I’d left waiting all winter for a warm hand.