Enjoy yer cold
I love winter. One winter (decades ago), during lambing season on a small family farm in West Virginia, I made the mistake of complaining about the cold. "Don't you EVER second-guess the Lord!", my farmer boss reproached me. "For one thing, this cold weather kills the bugs." He knew what climate change experts know - that if temps don't get down below a certain range (different for each different species of insect), then the coming season would have more of that particular bug. In the big picture web of life, insects play an important role (such as food for birds); but they are kept in check by weather, and by being eaten by birds and other creatures.
Now that weather patterns are changing and species of life are going extinct (faster than at any previous time in human history), we need to hold dear all forms of life and protect them whenever possible.
The more we learn about history the more we realize how liable to change things are. Assuming that things will keep on as they are will get you into all kinds of trouble. If you happen to be frustrated about one thing or another in the world (And who isn't?), don't worry because this too shall pass. The only thing we can be sure of is that things will change. So, as Thoreau said, go confidently in the direction of your dreams. You don't know what will happen, but if you try you can know it'll be something more to your liking.
The peacefulness of winter, like the relative quiet at night, allows for deeper thought, big picture analysis, getting a handle on how you might want to try and do things differently next time. You don't have to feel bad about the things that didn't work out last year. Just look at it from a creative new point of view. I learned in the rooms of recovery not to "stand on the corner singin' my coulda shoulda woulda's". A new growing season is coming, and I'm going to try some new things.
In it's beginning, our first community garden - the Ladora Way Urban Farm - showed how all types of people can enjoy working together to help beautify and feed the immediate neighborhood. If you're feeling some winter doldrums right now, watch this sweet little video-clip about that garden; guaranteed it'll raise your spirits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z1gzYQ9JBE .
In our part of the world, we have gotten into some very destructive habits. As we rest this winter, it makes sense to calmly consider some of their consequences. And to consider trying some new things. I'm more convinced daily both of the depth of our problems, and of our ability to deal with them. Balance can be maintained by realizing that the human-caused problems are growing in synch with breathtaking scientific advances that - properly applied - can help us solve those problems. We can, literally, create a heaven on earth - if we learn to work harmoniously together.
For my part, I want to serve life by facilitating the safe, proper recycling of various types of organic wastes. We have profoundly torn the web of life. In previous history, when animals or plants died, their bodies returned to feed new plants - not to a landfill. When animals excreted, that organic sector also returned to nourish Earth's web of life. By returning to being a part of a system that nurtures both quantity and diversity of life, we can work as part of the community of life to put our ecosystem back in balance.
We can thrive by recognizing we each have a unique part to play in the universe. With the increasing rate at which climate change is taking place, we need to appreciate the value of cold weather as well as hot - and everything else in between. Enjoy your cold.
Jim McCue (St. Jim the Composter)
composter and biotech researcher