Saturday, March 16, 2013

This Winter in Minnesota

I've gone within this winter. I mean this both physically and metaphysically.

Winter in Minnesota fits my disposition like a poorly tailored suit. I need a haberdasher who dresses me in the sunny garments of a desert climate during this season. And yet, I know that I am that draper of my own reality.

So I've stayed inside my house this winter, in the coziness and comfort and warmth of my own home. I've minimized the amount of time I'm outside, going only from my house to my car and my car to work and work to the gym or the grocery store or the library and then home again. While home I savor my solitude. I light my electric fireplace. I bask in the glow of good Zen books. I drink Chai tea, Wild Berry Zinger tea, and Tangerine Orange Zinger tea, all from Celestial Seasonings. I write. I meditate. I do yoga. I cook. I eat. I sleep. I nap.

I've kept my weekends to myself. Except for three outings to friends' homes and four solo outings to three plays, two movies, and one musical, I've stayed home. While at home, I prefer to be alone, and except for Jen spending a Friday evening with me in late January I've maintained and honored that desire since the New Year when I gave myself the good gift of four days of solitude.

I enjoy winter in Minnesota best from inside my own home. I like to sit on the couch in my living room, blanket on my lap, book in hand, tea on table, flames in fireplace, and watch the snow falling softly. I like to look at the bare branches of the trees, stripped to their essence, the gray gray sky behind them. I like to stand in my second floor master bedroom and gaze into the dark evenings and nights, the suburban lights illuminating the sullen sky, the stillness palpable. I like to watch the jets as they soar through the air, north to south, leaving the airport; south to north, arriving.

When I appreciate the present moment I realize I've come a long way and lived a full life—from small town Holdingford where pastures of stillness and silence lay on the horizon to suburban Eagan where loud jets of sonic speed light up the sky.

When I appreciate the present moment I realize I've got a long way and more full life ahead of me.

When I appreciate the present moment I realize I've gone within. I've thought a lot. I've imagined a lot. I've contemplated a lot. I've meditated not a lot but more than I have in several years. I've written in my journal. I've written for this blog. I've read Walden again. I've developed even more of a Thoreauvian mindset of my self and the world. I'm feeling transcendental and thinking zenexistential

To my knowledge, I just created that word. Zenexistential. I like it.

And I like this going within, this feeling transcendental, this thinking zenexistential. It suits me.

Perhaps, to my surprise and delight, this winter in Minnesota has been good to me after all and dressed me handsomely in the warm clothes of introspection, solitude, and well being.

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