January 24, 2013 § 3 Comments
It’s been cold ’round these parts of late, though not as cold as I’d quietly hoped. Fourteen below seems to be as low as we’re going to see during this snap, if the forecast for moderating temperatures over the next few days holds up.
I’d hoped for serious cold not out of malice toward anyone who wished for the opposite, but because frankly winter’s gotten a bit weak in the knees over the past few years and I’m worried about her. And I guess there’s part of me that worries that if winter gets weak, I’m liable to get weak right alongside it. I want to be pushed a bit, tested. I want to feel that sense of having overcome the elements, however much that smacks of hubris. I like the sense of comradarie a hard winter brings, the small superiority those of us who do not jet off for a week or two of vacation feel over those who do. Wait… did I just admit to being an asshole? Well, darn, I guess I did.
There’s one other thing I like about the cold: I like the way it feels. I go out in the morning to scrape the wind blown snow off the solar panels, and I stand for a minute in the coldest piece of the day, that push-pull hour at the cusp of dark and dawn, and I let myself sink into it. Or I let it sink into me, I’m not sure which. Probably both. It’s a curious thing, the way serious cold feels like a burn, the way my cheeks actually feel hot at fourteen below. So I stand there for a minute until I’m hanging over the edge of uncomfortable, and then I scrape the snow off the panels and just that little bit of work brings the blood to my fingers and face and that feels good, too. In a way, it feels like taking a breath.
In a way, it feels like being alive.