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Cold & Background

Barbara's picture

Staying outside in such weather was all about keeping myself warm. I used to feel reluctant to go to my spot because I had to spend an hour there ALONE, and this attitude was soon changed because the I always enjoyed my hour. However, this time the situation was very different. I've been to the Labyrinth in complete darkness, without having breakfast, when I was exhuasted - All types of unpleasant situations, but I always had a positive recover after spending an hour at the Labyrinth. It did not work at all this time. The cold air invaded me. Probably because of the overcast background of the sky, the whole scene looked extremely gloomy. The trees near the Labyrinth were still somewhat lively, but several tress on the Senior Row looked completely spiritless. Even though with or without leaves those trees were quite alive biologically, I didn't feel the cheerfulness that spring/summer green trees usually delivered to me. Keep moving did not warm me up. (I should have gone there today. The sunlight may make a difference...) I was not able to really concentrate on anything and the restless short visit did not last long. I was really disappointed that I was not able to enjoy the visit because I could not resist the low temperature. I was the only one in that area then and honestly there weren't many people committed to outdoor activities these days. However, the squirrels really delighted me. After Sandy, my friend and I were really worried about them because we saw much fewer squirrels around after the hurricane. They sent me a positive message to me by their unchanged lovely behaviors that they survived and moved on. But why did they look perfectly fine in such cold weather? I was really stuck on this question. The statement that "what you experience is decided by where you are from" rang a bell. I remembered an anecdote happened last winter when I was in Shanghai. A friend from Alaska only needed a shirt while the rest of us had to wear heavy coats in the same room. To some degree, how we perceive the world is determined by our previous experience. For the squirrels, they are born to be used to changeable weathers. But for someone like me, who has spent a lot of time in warmer area and have always had shelter of buildings, are not as skillful to survive outdoors in cold days. As simple as an obvious issue about comfort level in different weathers, it involves with personal experience. It is not hard to imagine that for people from a various background (area, race, gender), they would hold different even opposite opinions on more complex issues. This discussion has digressed a bit, but it is a good thing to keep in mind when we interact with people/situation from different background.