Friday, January 25, 2008

How Cold Is It?

I don't like to complain about the weather. It's what it is, and we can't do anything about it. Besides, the rhythm of the weather and the seasons is comforting to me. They follow one another in a sequence that may not be convenient for the needs of humans, but that were designed for the overall good of the planet itself. I'm not suggesting that catastrophic events--hurricanes, lightning strikes, drought, and the like -- are for the ultimate good, but they do have a place in the order of things.

It's cold here, and not surprisingly, there's plenty of discussion about it. This morning it was 19 degrees when I stopped to fill up the car on my way to the base. Beside the gas pump was a splatter of frozen vomit, immobilized by the cold in all its technicolor glory. It was quite the sight for 7 a.m.

It never ceases to amaze me that people are surprised that it's cold in JANUARY. It's winter, people. Wear a coat (and in the specific case of Dear Daughter, zip it up). Put your gloves on. Find a hat. Tie your scarf. This won't last forever. Remember how brisk and zippy this feels when it's July and the humidity and heat combine to creation an illusion that we're somehow breathing soup instead of air.

I like winter. I like cold weather and the exhilarating feel of frigid air and my breath frosting with each exhalation. I love the frost patterns painted on my car windows in the morning. The rime of ice on the edges of slow-moving rivers and wetlands I pass during my morning commute are beautiful in the thin January sunlight.

Given my health situation, I'm not crazy about being cold, but as I mentioned before, there are ways around that. I wear warm socks. I'm not too proud to pile on layers of underwear, turtlenecks, sweaters and outerwear. Each afternoon when I pick up Dear Daughter from Chez Fine Old Famly, I delight in a few quick moments by their ever-crackling fireplace, a homey Eternal Flame blazing away beneath their mantel laden with icons. January is cold weather time. It's beef-and-barley soup time (or if it's Friday, potato-leek soup time). It's fresh bread baking in the oven time. It's snuggle on the couch with a blanket, a book and Dear Daughter time. It's write a letter to Subaru thanking them for seat heaters time. It's quiet time. If you listen closely, you can hear the gentle sounds of the world sleeping, dreaming of spring time.

So savor the winter. The land is resting, and we should be, as well. It's gathering strength for the burst of growth that will come in spring. Today we're cradled in the respite between the joy of Christmastide and Epiphany and the solemnity of Lent. Spring will come. The light will return (both literally and figuratively). There is beauty also in rest and dark.

Just remember to watch your step at the gas station. ;-)


Marcia, Marcia, Marcia said...

I feel inspired now...I think I'll bake some fresh bread with week!

Redblur63 said...

I'm with you! I haven't baked anything since moving, except the cornmeal cake, twice, and those were both done in Midtown, so it doesn't count so much for home baking. Let me know if you do decide to do any baking. I'm available always for sampling!