I'm grateful for my former neighbor, the complainer. No, really. I am grateful that every time I rounded the curve on my daily walks and saw her, she complained. Specifically, she complained about the weather. It was either too hot or too cold. Pick any season. She taught me to shut up about the weather and that it is beyond my control. And, that if I chose to go on about the temperature and how it affects me, chills me, makes me sweat, affects my plans...I'm spewing toxicity into the environment plus poisoning my own body with my negative thoughts and words.
We're experiencing some extreme temps this week in Music City. Like Minnesota kind of weather. People love to complain. But, here's the deal: I doubt anyone reading this post is without shelter or heat. Or: a coat, hat, scarf, gloves.
Many who know me and read my writing know that I love winter. Plenty think that's just another way I'm odd. So be it. Now, summer? My least favorite. I'm not wild about the heat. But, like the ripped up floors in my house, now approaching two months since a wall pipe (not weather-related) burst in my small condo, I choose to walk around as oblivious as I can about it. My choice otherwise? Let it bug the hell out of me. Like...the weather.
We reveled in a short walk yesterday. I love it when the 40s feel warm, as they do when we experience one of those more extreme winters, such as this one. Unadorned, crooked little branches yearned upwards; the sky, their background--a watercolor wash of a blue. The mulch of leaves and stone slate banked the river, flowing murky army fatigue green in parts and, near the bridge, bearing a crystalline sky reflection. Sacred. Still. The "warm" air seemed to hold a message of what is to come.
Let's face it: for those living in climates where cold weather occurs, winter challenges us. Personally, I have to stay on top of my health constantly, making sure I am hydrated; use my netti pot (okay: TMI;) run a vaporizer/humidifier; eat extra well (more fruits and vegetable and less sugar because the former strengthens my immune system, the latter weakens it;) take extra Vitamin C; get additional rest (not always easy;) avoid getting chilled; dress warmly, batten down the hatches. There's ways to combat winter in smart fashion or not. Be safe, be warm, be smart. Most of us have those options. (Many do not.)
Additional ways I cope and give my brain chemistry and thus my body additional boosts?: GrateFULLness. Each time I hear the heat kick on, knowing it feels cozy, and, that in our own city, some are living in cardboard-constructed shelters. Literally. GrateFULLness: each time I put on my down coat. I hope everyone experiencing this weather has a coat. I'm sure there are many who do not. I have grateFULLness for the rays of sun (some days less than others,) that greet my waiting heart when I open the blinds each morning. GrateFULLness: the first glass of clean water that quenches my thirst along with the juice of half of a bright yellow lemon grown in the California soil with the nurture of a farmer's hands. The Satsuma oranges that follow. The spinach in my smoothie or lunch salad or dinner meal. Gifts of winter. Bounty. Bounty that I must remember not to take for granted.
The start of school, following a For. Ever -seeming holiday break, has been delayed a day for the predicted tundra temps here. Inconvenient? Yeah. Annoying, well, yeah, if I choose to see it that way....Or, another day to sleep in, to cuddle, to do a little house project, to lounge. And yes, not everyone will have that opportunity. Whatever our conditions, can we find an ounce of grateFULLness? I do think so. Autism and other life "opportunities" have taught me so.
Winter: I choose to see your gifts. I choose to know that you bring adversity turned opportunity. Ways for me to see the beauty in the frozen exhalation of breath, the nakedness of earth, the message of my body and spirit in the sacred still if I listen. Thank you.