Saturday, January 24, 2009

Real Winter

I've been told that the Inuit have 7 words for snow. Icelanders have a word for a volcano that erupts beneath a glacier and causes a flood once the glacier wall gives way (hlaup). I wonder if those cultures have a word for real winter. This winter is the real deal. Granted, we've had many bluebird, days, but we have had lots of snow -- the banks of snow at the end of my driveway are up to my shoulder. We've also had lots of cold: 30 F feels downright balmy.

I'm not complaining. I actually like the extreme weather (not like tornadoes or Cat 5 hurricanes) but cold and snow in the winter, and heat in the summer fascinate me. They change how we interact with our world, how we function and take us out of life's everyday sameness. If you think about it, life between 35 F and 80 F is very pleasant, very easy to deal with. When you start to creep up on the high end or dip below the low end, things start to get tougher, more interesting, a bit less comfortable. Couple temps beyond this range with precipitation, humidity (or lack thereof in winter) and we are forced to adjust, and compensate even more.

Unsettled, harsher weather reminds us that we dwell in a sometimes tough place, and that despite heating and air conditioning we are still subject to nature's vagaries when we leave our cocoons. I'm looking forward to spring (who doesn't?) but I enjoy what is happening now, and permit real winter to remind me where I am, and what I am.

2 comments:

Susan/Second Income Business said...

I'm all for making the best of each moment, but I have to admit that I find it a little easier to enjoy the moments that have a temperature range between 35 F and 80 F.

Agricola said...

Susan: Thanks for stopping by. I agree, the 35 F - 80 F range is much easier to deal with. But I'm fascinated by how it's been consistently in the teens to mid-twenties around me lately and I'm very used to it. after an adaptation period, 21 F, heck 12 F doesn't seem so bad anymore. It's fascinating how adaptable and resilient we are. It's fun to be reminded of this.