Dec 18 2009

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Cold Snap

Posted at 10:04 am under Blog Post

An hour before dawn, I start my day.  I step outside just long enough to feel the chill.  Thermometers are hovering around zero degrees Fahrenheit this morning.  It’s the first cold snap of the season.  I gaze deep into the clear night sky at the twinkling stars, identifying Ursa Major, Pegasus and other constellations for a minute or two, then go back in the house.  Today’s a good day to stay indoors appreciating what insulation, storm windows, and a good furnace can do.

Hard to believe that I was planting bulbs less than three weeks ago.  Now the ground is frozen solid.  Hard to believe I wore only a sweater during a long walk a month ago.  Now it would require thermals, gloves and a warm hat.  Is it mere coincidence that the darkest day of the year is almost upon us?  Of course not.  The Winter Solstice marks the beginning of winter as everyone knows.  This cold snap is only the first of many.

Days like this are what houses are for.  I like to think of myself as an outdoors kind of guy, but when the temps dip into the single digits, I lose all enthusiasm for being outside.  Every once in a while, I’ll venture into the woods when it’s this cold out just to keep my survival skills up to snuff.  But breaking ice from one’s beard loses its novelty once you’ve done it a few dozen times.

There’s no sense complaining about winter.  It comes around every year.  Besides, seasonal change is good.  I wouldn’t want to live in a place that’s warm and sunny all the time.  That would be so . . . boring.  Here in Vermont, I’m never bored.

Times like these, I wonder if Homo sapiens were meant to live this far north.  We emerged from the Earth’s equatorial regions after all.  But we’re a resourceful lot, aren’t we?  People live everywhere.  We even have outposts in the Antarctic.  Hell, we could live on the moon if we wanted to.  Zero is nothing.

I think I’ll go get a small tree today, drag it indoors, and set it up in my living room.  Yeah, something green to remind me of warmer times.  Then I’ll  put lights on it, mocking the darkness.  And maybe hang a few handmade ornaments from its branches, warming me in other ways.  Winter is just getting started, but that doesn’t mean we have to wallow in cold and darkness, gnashing our teeth.  There are plenty of ways to brace our selves for it.

One response so far

One Response to “Cold Snap”

  1. Andrewon 18 Dec 2009 at 12:33 pm 1

    I can relate. Tomorrow it’s barely going to crack 60. I’m serious in my reaction: brrr!
    I guess cold can be relative. In a sense, I am glad to be a sensitive person. I don’t need to be smacked in the face with a blizzard or hurricane to recognize a changing of the seasons here in central Florida. Leaves fall, birds migrate, grass stops growing and browns (at least the natural stuff).
    The sine wave of seasonal temperatures in Florida is relatively flattened. But I still enjoy the ride. And some of that enjoyment is griping about it. Damn summer humidity!
    Winter snow? What the hell is that? Are we talking Earth?