Wednesday, December 01, 2010

It’s a Different Kind of Warmth This time of year in the upper Midwest we usually welcome the first real snow fall. This is the one that makes a serious effort to fill the sky and attempt, sometimes successfully, to actually cover the ground. Today was that day. As I watched the clumps of fluffy flakes fall, I thought about how cold - on a day like today - makes you want to be warm. It’s a different kind of warmth, though. Not the same kind you welcome on a sunny, summer day. Not the kind that warms your face just enough in the spring, but warmth that you welcome and seek out by what you do. We light a wood burning fire to feel the warmth and smell the smoky wood and hear the crackling pops. We make coffee to feel the warmth in our hands and the sensation of it slowly inching down our throats until we feel it spread throughout our bodies. It’s the warm, thick potato cheese soup that you eat faster and faster until you burn your tongue and suddenly it’s as if your whole body is suddenly on fire and you start to sweat a little bit. It’s the warmth of a single jar candle that has been burning all day. The temperature on the thermostat may be no different, but I’m convinced that candle – maybe just the smell of it – has warmed the house. It’s the warmth of family and friends, close to us – maybe physically close or close in our hearts. It’s this thing we do – we seek warmth, but it’s a different kind. So those of you who don’t like winter (and trust me I can identify) because of the cold, snow, and dark days – take a break from what you see and light a candle, a fire, put on a snuggly blanket, hug your children, snuggle with your spouse and focus on the warmth that you feel – close your eyes – shut out the darkness and choose this different kind of warmth. It will warm and light up your heart.

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