a hard winter

i never really conceptualized that phrase before--"a hard winter."  usually it was in conjunction with pioneers or little house on the prairie or something.  now a days it usually means having to bundle up a little more to go out and shovel the driveway for an hour a day before returning to the heat.  or having to deal with snow and ice on the roads.  but hey, throw in a snow day and it makes that hard winter just a little bit easier.

now it's different.  i am learning firsthand what a hard winter is really like.  for the first time in my life i look forward to spring, not just with slight anticipation but now like a kid pines for christmas morning.  "oh won't it be so great when we can take the plastic off these window and it won't feel like we're living in a milk craton!?!"  "man it will be nice to not have my feet go numb when i walk to the bathroom in the morning!"  "i can't wait till our gas bill is under two thousand for the month!"  "it will be great to not need to wear 5 layers when i'm sitting in my room!"

smart wool socks have pretty much now become a permanent part of my feet.

i now know what it feels like to yearn for spring.  to fight through a hard winter.  and there's part of me that really likes that.  the other parts of me are just cold.  i don't know how pioneers did it.  i mean i know how the pioneers did it--i just don't know how they managed to survive all the complaining from their wives!  just kidding--mostly.  girls complain about the cold a lot more!  i think it's cause they're smaller and can't grow beards.  yeah, that probably has something to do with it.

another thing about winter is that as our pastor says, "our folk ain't made for this kind a weather."  well probably as a general rule most people don't enjoy this weather.  and as a common result people don't like to be outside.  our neighborhood just sort of shuts down in the winter.  maybe you see people passing every now and then, but just about the last thing they want to do is stop and talk to you and spend one more minute than they have to in that bitter cold.  life around here goes into a form of hibernation.


experiencing the seasons seems natural though.  it seems somehow closer to reality.  we live our lives largely independent of the weather, though we focus on it so much.  i don't think there has ever been any culture so concerned with what the weather was going to be than ours is now.  why is that?  because we are also maybe the least affected by it.  we manipulate our crops to survive more and more independently from the way the weather goes.  we have waterproof and windproof and coldproof jackets.  we have insulation and heaters and fireplaces and space heaters.  we have air conditioners and fans and breathable clothes.  we adjust our temperatures against the season with tons of money into heating and cooling devices.  and that's not a bad thing--a lot less people die now.

but we do all that we can to function as if weather did not exist.  we are so inconvenienced when it snows and we can't make our appointments.  or rather sometimes we are relieved.  but life goes on usually.  and it is mostly unaffected.

it is kind of nice to have life affected by the seasons.  it forces us to wait.  it takes some things out of our control.  and that makes us do some other things--like use this time to devote more to prayer, or to playing games with each other, or to working on things indoors.  it brings us closer together.  and it probably gets us more ready to get out and away from each other as soon as it gets warm! 

it's this season.  and though we look forward to spring, we can't make it spring any sooner than it comes.  it's not worth wishing it was some other time.  it is now.  and so we live how we can now.  and that helps us realize our limits.  and maybe that's worth being a little cold.  the girls may disagree with me, but i think it's worth it. 

spring will be such a delight.

1 comment:

  1. A. I really like that picture.
    B. Yes, I think that being small and not having a beard has something to do with it. :) And I like to think we don't complain so much as maybe we make more noises. Well, I know I probably make a lot of "brrr" noises. My life is full of sound effects.
    C. I would agree. There is great value to waiting, and overall our winter is worth it I think