Winter sometimes seems very long. That’s what people say. However, winter 2010-2011 is different. I don’t know why, but in this area of the world people are enjoying it, and it’s not because it’s warm, it’s not. Of course, I’m talking from a Philadelphia perspective, and not New England, or the midwest. Last year, in this part of the world, winter 2009-2010 had many grumblers not liking the snow or cold (especially the snow), at all, and they freely complained to anyone within earshot. This year the feeling is different; I even hear people calling from across the street to friends: Hey, ____ , are you loving the snow? Enjoying the cold? And they laugh. What happened between this winter and last? – I asked myself.

What makes me feel wonderfully toasty warm on a cold and windy day is when I’m out and about feeling rather chilly, and I see someone ambling towards me dressed in shorts and a cotton shirt. At that moment, I feel like a cold weather coward, and right away get the message to toughen up. And I do, and the day becomes warmer. And I smile at the impact we have on one another, often without realizing it; it’s immensely interesting and grand. Well, grand if it’s the right kind of impact.

A few weeks ago as I stood waiting for a green light, I saw someone across the street patiently waiting for the light to change. It was cold, and a persistent cold wind made it colder. He didn’t seem to notice the weather; he was wearing a short-sleeved shirt and jeans, holding a jumbo drink filled with ice cubes, and sipping it as though palm trees surrounded him, and lazy warm waves on a calm beautiful sea called to him. I stared, and in staring I felt warmer by the second. Additionally, throughout the day if I wanted to stay warm while walking, all I had to do was picture him just the way he was. Ahh, thoughts are indeed powerful.

So, if one day you’re feeling cold, find the one oblivious to weather conditions, and keep that memory alive.

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