I just got back from the midwest- seconds before the tempurature took a drastic dive bomb into the sub-zero zone. Everyone says they hate winter, but I REALLY hate winter. In particular, being cold. I have no tolerance for it. One of the perks to moving to the sunshine state; no more scrapping ice off of windshields, or the perpetual rat's nest in the back of my head from wearing wool scarves.
I wasn't looking forward to my trip at all because of the cold. If I was a child I, would have been in full on melt down mode kicking and whaling as I flung my body on the floor. Dramatic, I know.
But then something magical happened. It started by packing my vintage, long mink fur coat. I decided I didn't care if I got sideways glances from passersby and cafe patrons. (I love to be unique, but I also worry WAY too much about what other people think of me.) I wanted to be warm dammit- and this coat is the heavy artillary. And it's beautiful. But I never wear it for fear of, well, i don't know what. Being too fabulous? Offending a hippie next to me in the coffee shop? Not blending in? I channeled my inner Carrie Bradshaw and didn't look back.
Once my- oh so very important- needs of staying warm were met, I was happy as a clam. Even allowing myself to walk more than a couple of blocks outside without muttering swear words under my breath the whole time. I was able to notice things I would have otherwise overlooked. Like how quiet the world becomes when it's really, really cold. Winter's gift to us: quiet time to turn inward for reflection and solitude. I suppose it's no accident that as a society we set new goals and spend more time in reflection at the new year- generally the coldest and darkest time of year. Once I acknowledged the quiet, I was able to notice how small sounds are amplified and travel great distances to our ears in the dead cold.
What would happen in our day to day lives if we took time to put on our figurative fur coats, set aside our fears, and allow ourselves to be absolutely, positively quiet and alone with our thoughts? How could this change our creative practices? Our relationships? Our spirituality? Our health?
Suddenly that little voice at the very bottom of our hearts- muffled by the temperate comings and goings of everyday life- is heard. It's amplified by the quiet, and our greatest hopes and possibilities are allowed to bubble up and reveal themselves.
Maybe visiting the cold isn't such a bad thing after all.
Images sources via my pinterest