2/18/2008

A Hazy Shade of Winter

Earlier this month the temperature dipped into the teens. By Atlanta standards, that's cold.

Despite this, I left my heat off. I haven't turned on my heat in three years. I've weathered three winters with only blankets and an eight inch space heater. It sometimes gets cold enough to see my breath in my own living room. I'm bothered not at all by it.

Perhaps this is because the back room in my old house had been a storage space and was never properly insulated when remodeled into my childhood bedroom. I doubt it, though.

I'm not much bothered by heat, either. I turn on my AC for only the hottest few weeks each summer when the mercury breaks one hundred degrees and then only really to prevent the furniture from warping.

It's not that I don't feel the temperature, I do, very much. I sweat and I shudder. I bundle up and I strip down. I'm quite aware of the elements; I'm just not much concerned by them.

Most people live lives as comfortable as they are desperate, divorced from the oscillations of atmosphere. They never walk in the rain. They rarely go out into the wind. They hate to sweat and they never shiver. They live in hermetically sealed boxes, shielded from the weather as if underground.

I couldn't live like that.

Don't we loose something that way? We're made from the same meat and dust as the rest of the world, fed from the same soil, breathing the same air and ultimately powered by the same sun as all else and it seems that we should not shy away from the engine of the Earth. We rightly seek shelter from hail and hurricane but should we really sweat a little sweat? Aren't we less in being removed from that aspect of the world?

3 comments:

Dwight's Writing Manifesto said...

Agreed. My bachelor days were much less climate controlled.

peony said...

Then, too, there are those hazy but absorbed memories of Mowbray Cottage, your home in England. Your room had no direct heat source whatsoever...no radiator, no fire place. It was above the kitchen and the hearty country British attitude said enough warmth drifted up through the floor. Of course, maybe not in the coldest winter England had for over 100 years! I still can't stand it warmer than 65 degrees but at least the floors aren't stone here.

RawkStahr said...

Umm...is my "hermetically sealed box" climate-controlled?