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Coldness

Coldness

Coldness

Without a doubt, one of my favorite times of year is the onset of winter. Perhaps it is instinctive- the little feeling of power that comes with the first snap of cold air. It is a reminder, ingrained in my body from some forgotten evolutionary adaptation. WINTER IS COMING. Get ready.

Just a few generations ago, this feeling would serve a tangible purpose in the questions it would bring. Are the animals tended? Are the fences mended? The grain collected? The food stashes secure? Is house sealed? The firewood stacked?

Winter is coming.

The elements are coming. The snow is coming. Once again humans must adapt and contend with the most difficult of the seasons. The comforts and innovations of modern life have reduced this feeling from a call to action to a flutter.

For most, winter is an inconvenience at best. For me, it’s an opportunity. I long all summer to feel the power of nature that can only be felt in the presence of winter. I long to feel myself against the cold. I thrive on the challenge that it brings.

Winter is coming.

And so with it comes the ability to experience a bit of that forgotten ancestral instinct. Soon enough, I’ll realize the coldness of ice under my knuckles on an ice climb and the bitterness of wind against my face while I’m backcountry skiing. I’ll not feel it as pain. It will serve as another remembrance.

Is there enough tread on the tires? Is the firewood stacked? The skis mounted? The skins cut? The ice tools sharpened?

Winter is coming, and I’m alive.

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