Friday, January 25, 2008

more cold in the a.m.

We had a respite here the past two days, and I had a revelation. 45 is almost tropical after 8.

This morning it's 22 and I'm already thinking of the stiff fingers and difficult to open plastic buckets of vitamins/minerals and flax that face me in the feed room.

I was thinking, though, that while there is a moment of dread over bundling up to go out into the cold, once there something changes and it becomes magical. There is something almost physiologically good about weather extremes.

In this intense (for us here in the south) cold, there's a purity of air and breath and thought that happens when I stand outside. My head clears, and my airways, and suddenly I can feel my body in a way I don't feel it when the air is warmer.

It's hard to imagine the heat of summer in this moment, but that opposite extreme has its own visceral sensations: heaviness, sweat, the feeling of almost melting into the heat and humidity.

The extremes defy distraction. They force us to be present and aware.

Which makes me think how much we lose when we buffer ourselves so successfully against the season's changes and extremes. How whole and complete we might be if we followed the wheel of the year and actually participated in its turning.

6 comments:

Rising Rainbow said...

Heck, I feel like 45° is almost tropical after 20°. I can't even imagine after 8° I agree with you there is something in that cold air especially if the sun shines. Despite the cold I can turn horses out, and really enjoy the sunshine.

billie said...

Yes, I know exactly what you mean - the coldness seems to intensify things, including the warmth of the sun, and its brightness.

I read somewhere that horses' preferred "room temp" is around 40 degrees F, and in observing them it does seem to be true. They really rev up and play when it's between 30 and 40 or so.

Thanks for coming by - I'm following your link to visit your place now!

Matthew said...

Yes, I love the piercing late-day light you see only on a clear winter day. . .

billie said...

Piercing is a good word for it.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Even though I do tend to complain about frozen water buckets and frozen fingers. Winter is one of the most beautiful seasons, when there is a snowfall, the pristine white and the pure blue sky blend together to highlight the starkness of the bare trees,in a showy winter palette of light and dark. My horses have a lot more personality in the cooler months.

billie said...

Gray Horse Matters, you mention one of my favorite aspects of winter. Those bare trees against snow, or even black from rain, against the lighter/grayer winter palette - it's like seeing the bones of things instead of the lush verdant growth of spring and summer, or the stunning color in fall.