As it snows here on the east coast, I’m sitting next to a roaring fire appreciating this marvelous description of cold temperatures by John Updike:
“Cold is an absence, an absence of heat, and yet it feels like a presence–a vigorous, hostilely active presence in the air that presses upon your naked face and that makes your fingers and toes ache within their mittens and boots. Cold is always working, it seems– busy freezing water in the ponds and rivers, knitting intricate six-sided snowflakes by the billions, finding cracks around the walls and windows of your house, forcing furnaces in the cellar to roar away.
I like winter because it locks me indoors with my books, my word processor, and my clear and brittle thoughts. There is a visual poetry that goes with the cold. Ferns and stars of frost mysteriously appear on the windows and take their place in a child’s mythology.
To return back indoors after exposure to the bitter, inimical, implacable cold is to experience gratitude for the shelters of civilization, for the islands of warmth that life creates.”
John Updike from “The Cold”