The Gift of Living in a SUB-ZERO Climate!
Did spring really show up early for us here in the Northern, very chilly area Edmonton, Alberta?? This seems almost too good to be true...and always, it makes me stop and ponder what the blessings are of living in such a frigid climate. We are mostly all aware of the pitfalls; how often do we stop and consider the gifts in experiencing life with such drastic and dramatic temperature fluctuations? It isn't uncommon for us to feel the deathly cold of -40degC and one week later, +8degC! So if I were to look at this phenomenon from a metaphysical, greater perspective, what's really going on here??
Let's begin by acknowledging the obvious - we have been trained from a very young age (some of us since birth if we've been blessed enough to have been born here) to be incredibly resilient. Resilience is a learned trait. And we are taught, with every cold snap, that life just goes on. Nothing shuts down; people continue going to work (some even bike ride to work all winter long), to school, even working outside in some cases. And always, the snow plough operators continue pushing snow through the nights to make life possible here in this climate. I personally feel such gratitude for these operators. Every time I pass one I send them a wave of gratitude and appreciation for the work they do, which makes the work that I do even possible....So, resilience training - that's the program we've all signed up for...I'd like to mention here as well that because we've learned to step forward no matter what, tough it out, get the job done, that in general people who live in such harsh conditions tend to have a more positive outlook about life's setbacks and disappointments. News of an upcoming storm isn't usually met with a whole lot of doom-and-gloom conversation and predictions. Most of the time, impending bad weather doesn't even make it into the conversation! It just is. And all that is tends to be accepted a little easier by resilient people.
So we have an opportunity to learn resilience. Yay us. That still doesn't make it super appealing to live in extreme Northern regions. There's got to be more. The part I find the most remarkable is how the extreme climate differentiation has the potential to teach us extreme inner reflection, which leads to potential for immense growth. When it's -40degC outside, most people want to curl up by the fire, retreat, cocoon, and for some, take this time as an incredible opportunity to self-reflect. There's nothing much else to do really. It's as if the world outside has stopped, paused momentarily, just for us. Mother Earth has given us a sojourn from the busyness of going and doing and we're (seemingly) forced to slow down. For those of us who embrace the darkness of the cave, this is such a wonderful time of year to take mental inventory and reflect on what needs healing. This is the time to have the difficult conversations, heal the broken relationships, mend the wounds of the past, heal the body, and otherwise recharge the batteries of your life. What a gift! Sometimes this sojourn can last for months!! When looked upon from a very different perspective, the cold winter months can propel us forward mentally and emotionally and prepare us for the next phase of our lives when spring arrives. Now that, to me, is an enormous blessing.
So whether you live in a Northern climate or a more temperate region, how is your outside reality teaching you about your inside reality? What can you learn from the world outside? Take a look. You may be brilliantly surprised.