Mittens are Essential
We just got our first “snow” of the season. I put snow in quotation marks because D.C. has not seen any real accumulation of the white stuff in a few years.
What fell from the sky was freezing rain, and a few flakes. The grass was covered for less than 24 hours, before it began to melt. Typical for this region. Winter in the Mid Atlantic always leaves me slightly disappointed. I grew up in New England, where winter could be long and cold.
It usually involved a lot of snow.
I have vivid memories of being in elementary school and walking out into the hallway and seeing the giant steam radiators covered with wool mittens, hats, scarves and the occasional snow suit. Wet snow made for soggy mittens. Dry snow was perfect for skiing.
Probably not as well versed as the Inuit who have multiple words for snow, but New Englanders know their snow.
The flip side of winter was the cold. There were many days when the best thing to do was to shove yourself as close to the wood stove as possible, look out the window at the snow falling, while sipping hot cocoa.
Warmth is essential to surviving long, cold winters.
Feelin’ The Bern
Which brings me to Bernie Sanders.
Bernie is no fool. He may be mocked for wearing mittens to Biden’s inauguration, but anyone who has lived in New England knows that mittens are essential. I’m guessing he was the only one on that stage with warm hands.
How admirable, for flipping the bird to fashion and formality and going with what worked for him.
Bernie, just being Bernie.
I’m not saying wear your underwear on the outside of your pants, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could all be a little more free to express our authenticity?
COVID has isolated us in many ways, but it has worked to peel back some layers to reveal everyone’s inner Bernie.
More of us are using Zoom to interact with co-workers. We get to see the inside of homes, hear pets and toddlers in the background, and peer into inner worlds never before seen.
When I turn on the local news, I now get to see the inside (and the neighborhood, and the back yard, and bbq area) of my local weather man’s home. His dog Fluffy frequently makes it on camera and he often yells out to his wife or daughter to see what’s for dinner or who’s home.
Seeing each other this way —with more depth and flavor— helps us understand and appreciate each other in new ways. It may even help us tolerate people we once considered enemies.
Call me crazy, but I think we could all use a little bit more of that right now.
Looking at the world from above the fray. Houkje writes about following her intuition, observerations on the magic of the natural world, and navigating creativity and chaos in an uncertain world.
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