25 October 2012

A matter of perspective

I have been all set, these past few days, to write a post lamenting the dreadful, horrible, insufferable weather we've been having... each grey morning the thermometer displayed a new low, and my spirits dipped lower and lower with the temperature. On the drive in to early morning Mass yesterday, it was -16 F! (That's pronounced "sixteen below," for the non-Alaskans out there.) But then last night, as I carried Little Bear out to the car after having dinner with Grandma and Grandpa, everything was different: the moonlight sparkled on the snow, the air was clear and still... and warm. It felt warm outside.

More cheerful about weather and winter than I've been in nearly two weeks, we kept an eye out for a thermometer as we drove home. The first few were displaying the time or the Celsius temperature as we passed; it wasn't until we were nearing our development that I spotted a thermometer proclaiming it to be all of 9 degrees out.

What? No, it was wrong. It had to be. Not a week ago, I was complaining about warmer temperatures than that. Surely it was at least 32 F... it felt so nice!

The next thermometer confirmed it, though, and I was forced to admit again what I forget and re-learn each year: It doesn't matter how cold it is -- if it is at least ten degrees warmer than it just was, it will feel pleasant. -20 degrees feels like shirtsleeve weather after a week of -40 degrees.

Am I done complaining about the cold for the winter? Not likely! As much warmer as it may feel to me, I still do need to be mindful of the temperature for the baby's sake. But now that I've been reminded of how pleasant even a small rise in temperature can be, I hope it will be easier to keep the next cold spell in perspective.

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