Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ruminations on a cold day

The ice from the recent storms is much diminished around the mountain today, though some still lingers. The blast of arctic air that’s putting much of the country in the deep freeze is here at Roundtop, too. I will be happier when the wind diminishes.

Nothing is moving much around the cabin right now. I haven’t even seen the deer that are usually out in the evenings. Everything and everyone is hunkered down, waiting out the cold. Some days it seems odd to me that here in the 21st century so much of my life revolves around weather in one way or another. Ice, snow, cold, wind—nothing I do is immune from touch of the natural world.

I don’t see that in many other people. They really are immune from the severity of weather most of the time. I can tell by how they are dressed that they never really step outside. They couldn’t or they wouldn’t be wearing those wimpy shoes and fashionable coats. They walk from house to garage and then get in the car. Perhaps the only time they are outside is on the short walk from the car into the office.

Sometimes I wish I were a little more insulated from these extremes myself. There’s always something that’s difficult to deal with or going wrong because of the weather. Although I think what I really long for, at least occasionally, is the protective little bubble of denial I see around me. People seem to feel that if they pretend the weather doesn’t affect how they go about their day, it won’t. But I’m just not like that. I could no more ignore the realities of weather than I could leave the house without an emergency kit in the car or ignore a sunrise. I suspect lots of people ignore the sunrise. They ignore everything else about the natural world.

Maybe the weather isn’t so bad after all.


Lynne said...

I wonder if people ignore nature because it's a part of life around them that they can't control. I think we've become a very control-centered society.

Carolyn H said...

Lynne: I don't know why people are so disconnected from nature. Control is certainly part of it. I also think that there's a certain level of fear involved. They're afraid of what will happen to them "out there" and don't know enough to reasonably evaluate the preceived dangers.

Carolyn h.

Cathy said...

Also thrown in, video games, computers and Tv with 100s channel on it. Why go outside, put up with the weather when you can stay comfy in your chair?

Pablo said...

We may not even get into the double digits today in Kansas City, but the weekend is looking warm enuf for a trip to the woods!

greentangle said...

The more severe winter weather gets, the happier I am. A couple mornings ago, we were in the minus teens with wind chill about double that. I walked a mile or so to the university where I'm taking a couple of adult ed classes: local wildlife and nature writing.

It was one of the most brutal walks I can remember: the combination of my breath and the scarf over my face was covering my glasses with ice so I could barely see where I was stepping on the uneven icy streets and I had to walk much more slowly than normal.

I never for a moment regretted choosing to walk--I often suspect I'm not the same species as the average American. But in the summer I hate both the heat and air conditioning, which may be part of why I enjoy the winter so much.

Carolyn H said...

greentangle: I love winter, too, though I don't love every single thing about it. I could do without wind when it's cold. I love snow, but ice keeps moving further down the list the older I get. I don't like hot weather and don't have air-conditioning either. If global warming gets worse, though, I may rethink the air-conditioner. I'll keep you posted about that one.

Carolyn H.