Stir Crazy

blowing snow can make driving difficult

blowing snow can make driving difficult

This is the time of year when cabin fever really starts to set in. Imbolc, Groundhogs day, Candlemas the mid-marker  festivals of the season.  For much of the country 6 more weeks of winter sounds like a lot, but it’s countable.  For us it’s 6 more weeks before we can even start counting! Mid-March is a great time to start seedlings indoors where I live.  There is no hope of planting even peas and kale until May. (Well, sometimes we get lucky and risk takers will put a little something in at the end of April, but it’s rare.)

These winter holidays are very important for us.  They provide a break in the routine, a chance to get out of the house and socialize.  Another Monday when schools and roads are closed because it’s too cold and too windy.  Blizzard conditions make getting out of the house seem a little like a pipe-dream.  But we do it.  It is -20F this morning (with a windchill below -40.  Do you know that -40 is the temperature when Celsius and Fahrenheit meet?  When you live someplace where that temperature is a reality you learn that kind of trivia.)

They’re talking highs at 20F on Wednesday.  We’ve been up and down that 40-50 degrees a lot this year.  It’s hard on a body.  To us that 20F will feel like a heat wave.  Minnesotans will go out to the mailbox without their coats.  They’ll leave hats and gloves in the car.  A friend on Facebook said “you know it’s been cold when you’re out shoveling at 15F and need to take your coat off because it’s too warm!” We’re a little crazy that way – stir crazy.

I didn't put on a coat when I snuck out to snap this photo.

I didn’t put on a coat when I snuck out to snap this photo.

Another really perverse factoid about the winter weather here is that when it’s cold it’s usually really sunny.  The snow reflects that sunlight and so it’s bright enough to need sunglasses.  Those festivals all celebrate  the return of longer days, the return of the light.  The sun rises noticeably earlier and sets noticeably later.  The further north you go the more dramatic those differences are.   Minneapolis is on the 45th parallel.  That’s half way between the equator and the top of the world (or the bottom if you’re not Northern Hemisphere biased).  About this time of year a typical office worker begins to notice that they are driving to and from work in daylight rather than darkness.   A nice change of pace.  But being able to see the light sometimes makes you want it even more.

Wikapedia says:  When experiencing cabin fever, a person may tend to sleep, have distrust of anyone they are with, and an urge to go outside even in the rain, snow, dark or hail.  Maybe that’s why we have a winter carnival with ice castles,  kite flying on frozen lakes, winter witch camp (which is actually in Wisconsin, but if you fly in Minneapolis is the closer airport), and parks that rent cross-country skis and snowshoes.

Today the University is closed because the weather is so bad, but the Metro Mobility buses are running.  Orion got bundled up and sent of to his day program and we’ll make it to adaptive Yoga tonight.  We’re getting ready to celebrate Imbolc this coming weekend and in the meantime working on staying warm and not getting too stir crazy.

About lisaspiral

I've been writing and speaking about spirituality to small groups for years and am looking to expand my horizons. Hopefully this blog will inspire you to expand yours as well.

Posted on January 27, 2014, in Bio, seasonal, wicca, winter and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. MTM still cannot get on a Southern planting schedule where things grow pretty much year round. Stay warm, Lisa.

  2. When I think of cabin fever I think of the movie, The Shining. That brought cabin fever to a whole new level. Hopefully, your cabin fever isn’t as, shall we say, confining?

  3. Yikes, you know it’s bad when the university is closed. Glad it’s going up to 20, however. Damn, it’s bad when that’s a heat wave!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  4. Yep, 20 would be a heat wave! It’s -8 right now. And very, very sunny. Wishing you cabinfeverless days (new word?) Thank goodness you have Imbolc to celebrate, Lisa.

  5. Y’all get out and socialize in that kinda weather? I’m good with a phone myself. I imagine to have cabin fever, one gets tired of looking at the same folk and go slightly mad to be with them anymore. Maybe that’s what happens to divorced couples.

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