Strolling

Look! No coat!

It was unusually warm today in the Twin Cities. I think it hit almost 40 degrees. That is REALLY warm for January. There have been winters here where the temperature didn’t hit 40 til April and the kids and I would celebrate by throwing off our coats, dragging out the lawn chairs and bicycles, and hanging on the driveway all afternoon. A week ago I was posting pictures on facebook about the frost that formed on my scarf in the minus 25 degree wind chills. This week I made that same walk, from my car to my office (about eight city blocks) without any jacket and only wearing a button down shirt. These are crazy times.

Today after work on my way back to the car it was a little cooler so I did put my jacket back on. Half way through the walk I noticed something. I was quite relaxed and strolling. I never stroll these days. I thought about it. Winter makes me hurry. I hurry from the house to the car, from the car to the office, from the office to the car, all the while frantically muttering, “I’m so cold. I’m soooo COLD!”. It is as though I am always running from the weather; from the biting wind that first brings a sting to your ears that is nearly unbearable and then numbness to your extremities that takes many minutes, once inside, from which to recover. Yes, I run from winter.

This winter I made a list of all the things I wanted to do or to try, a bucket list of sorts. Unfortunately, the milder conditions and lack of snow have thwarted my efforts a bit (so strange to write that), but I know it will get cold again and the brutal wind from the North will come to find us. So, I am adding to my bucket list to stop running and to stroll more. This may require better clothing choices, as my one friend would inform me. But I hope to do so, so I won’t have to feel like I am rushing all the time. I left a life of hurry behind when I moved to the Midwest. I’d like to not live that way again just because of the weather. No, I plan to look Old Man Winter right in the eyes and tell him, “I WON’T RUN ANYMORE!!” Then, I’ll take his hand, and stroll with him (or at least walk a little more slowly), and see what there is to see.