Thursday, January 24, 2008


It has been cold. Of the unbearable kind. I'm talking temps less than zero for a high. And that's not wind chill, folks. That's what the thermometer says.

Temperature is a funny thing. It's all relative (and I hate that saying). But it's true. As Fall rolls in, we complain and whine and pout about the first 40 degree day we get. Then Oh My, it drops below freezing and we have to scrape our windshields. Oh My. More pouting. What I would give for 20 degrees above zero right now. I would welcome it like won money, or better yet, like free beer. Forty degrees would shock my system too much and probably force a stroke.

You see, we acclimate. That first 40 degree day seems horrible because of many reasons. Physically, you have to harden to it. You have to brace against the wind, and your body has to learn to fire up that furnace and start producing some heat. You have to wear that ever-confining coat and those clumsy gloves.

It's also stressful on a psychological level. It's the end of warmth, of comfort. It's the beginning of long hours indoors, held captive by the cold outside. The days are shorter, the nights are forever. This all wears on a person.

But there is a strange serenity to the frigid wasteland of winter, especially during the early hours before sun up. During those times that I'm forced to cover myself in four layers and venture out, I like to just stand in the yard and listen. There are so many things you can hear in winter that go unnoticed at other times of the year. Down by the road you can hear the power lines sing. You hear the horses milling about, tossing their hay, looking for the tasty chaff. The fencer and it's patient click, click. The buzz from the yard light. Your own footsteps. That creaky hinge on the grain room door. Sometimes the stars are so bright you swear you can hear them, too. But not much else. You don't hear crickets or birds or wind rustled corn fields. No tractors, no impatient cows. Just quiet.

I'm not saying any of this to make myself feel any better about these crazy cold mornings. Just an observation.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Absolutely LOVE the post today! You make this ridiculous weather sound not quite so bad. I agree, I do love the quiet of winter. Do you ever walk outside when it is snowing and listen? IT is an awesome quiet!