What happens to make Dexter's moods change like the seasons in "Winter Dreams"?

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The seasons are incredibly important to tracing the ups and downs of Dexter Fletcher and his "winter dreams." It is an interesting exercise to trace how the seasons are described at key points in the narrative and how this impacts Dexter Fletcher. One part of interest occurs in section four of this great short story, when Dexter Fletcher seems to have forgotten Judy Jones and to start again, becoming engaged to Irene Scheerer. Note what the text says:

The Minnesota winter prolonged itself interminably, and it was almost May when the winds came soft and the snow ran down into Black Bar Lake at last. For the first time in over a year Dexter was enjoying a certain tranquillity of spirit. Judy Jones had been in Florida, and afterward in Hot Springs, and somewhere she had been engaged, and somewhere she had broken it off.

Clearly, Dexter's mood swings are causes by the fluctuations in his relationship with Judy Jones, and are linked in with the change of seasons. However, note that however hard Dexter is trying to get over Judy, the fact that his "tranquillity of spirit" is a result of her absence makes us think that she still holds power over him and that her return will be enough to take away Dexter's temporary peace of mind.

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