Saturday, January 24, 2015
We are creeping into the last week of January, typically some of our coldest temps of the season, now through February though February can have some nice warm days. Anyway, this winter has not been as bad as last year, so far, and definitely not as bad as the year previous and even the winter previous to that. We've had a spate of harsh winters and after many years of almost no winter, with tropicals that were able to grow to 10' - 12' tall, it seems especially unfair to me. I liked those mild winters and summers that would get hot but not like the last 4 or 5. I even remember owning a winter coat growing up and for some of my adult life but I also can't remember when I bought my last coat. Jackets, long johns, heavy sweaters, yes, but a coat?
I don't like being cold. I used to be a lot more sensitive to it before, ya know, menopause. I was a skinny kid and pools and the Gulf would suck the heat right out of me even in the summer and after 30 minutes or so my lips and nail beds would be blue. The coldest I've ever been though was the winter I spent in Chicago going to school there. I was totally unprepared in the clothes department for one thing, but that snow and ice and wind just froze me to the bone. It was painful to be so cold. It was the most miserable I have ever been and one winter of that was enough for me.
This winter it seems like we have had a lot of consecutive overcast and cold and rainy days interspersed with a few nice days. I have a hard time getting motivated when it's cold and wet and gloomy out. Like today. Another reason I don't like to be cold.
Earlier this week though, while we were having nice spring like days and I was able to go barefoot outside for the first time in weeks, I realized another reason I don't like to be cold. I have to wear shoes which in itself is bad enough since unless I'm cold or I'm leaving the house, I'm barefoot. So it's not that I don't like to wear shoes, which I don't, but that I'm not in touch with the earth. I find contact with the earth to be essential. I think people suffer in detrimental ways from lack of contact with the earth.
Working outside, digging in the dirt, nurturing the living ecosystem is part of what makes us healthy and happy. Microbes in the soil activate the dopamine in our brains. Getting dirty bolsters our immune systems. Skin touching the earth absorbs the energy the earth emanates.
I know we need winter. Nature has her cycles of growth and rest and rest is essential but for me winter, real winter, is something to be endured rather than enjoyed.