Sunday, January 17, 2010

How Long Does Winter Have to Last?

By this time of year, the weather really gets to me.  I start to think that I will never feel warm again.  I will be wearing two pairs of socks for the rest of my life.  Will the ice and snow ever melt?  Will the spring and summer really come?  Yes, I admit these thoughts are irrational, but winter seems to last for so long.

I read something by Bill Streever that helped my outlook, so I decided to share it.  He basically refelects on the many wonders of nature in very cold weather.  For example, he detailed the hibernation process which is really quite miraculous.  He also suggested experiencing the cold with wonder and appreciation.  His words reminded me of the beauty of the weather cycle and reminded me how quickly time does pass.  He inspired me to try to take the best from every moment because once the moment passes it is gone.  I feel that he was so eloquent that I will quote him:

"We cannot pretend that the cold is welcome, that it does not interrupt our lives, but we can recognize it for what it is and take from it, if nothing else, the enjoyment of ideas and knowledge.  Cold freezes the nostrils and assaults the lungs, but it also offers business opportunities and inspires iconic literature.  It has driven the evolution of hibernation and sculpted landscapes.

You are, in this cold snap, living through a moment of the earth's history.  Embrace it while it lasts.  Step outside.  Breathe deeply.  Touch a hand, ungloved, to the ground.  Take in a vista of shining ice and snow.  Warm yourself by firing off a few neurons while contemplating the survival of trees in a purely frozen state, their cells more or less emptied of water, the space between those cells blossoming with tiny ice crystals, the trees themselves surviving, alive, relaxing until spring."

Stay healthy & well,

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