A moment to consider...making peace with the Polar Vortex

How do you know when you've left childhood completely behind?  When it snows, and all you think is, "Oh, man. It's snowing."  Not "Oh man!  It's snowing!"

These last few weeks have been quite a ride, meteorologically speaking. The Polar Vortex even made it too cold for the polar bears.  Snow and wind and more of both, and then 60 degree temperature swings. 

But how many of you spent some time throwing boiling water in the air, just to see it change properties in an instant?  How many tried hammering nails with frozen bananas?  (Ok, I may have been on social media a little more often than usual.)  How many of you tried to throw a snowball?  It was a little cold for a while there to play outside, to be sure, but the hot chocolate afterward tasted great.  As you drank from the mug, how many of you stopped to watch through the window as the world turned white?  Or did you think far more practical thoughts? 

Snow has that ability, temporary though it may be, to simplify the world.  The sounds of life are muffled, and so is the sunlight.  Did you see all the variations of the color white that played out on trees and lawns, cars and streetlights?  The trees were encased in ice, but the snow was soft and light.  It was pretty easy to shovel, which was good since we had to do it several times.   Both the inside and outside worlds slowed down.  We even had a few extra days of winter break.

A lot of people have been posting on social media about gratitude lately, and being grateful kept playing in my head last week:  I am in a warm house, there is food in the pantry.  No pipes had burst, no one had fallen.  Everyone I loved was in their own cocoon, safe and warm, too.  I was grateful, too, for the people who did get to work, especially the ones who work on helping those who were not as safe and warm as I was.

The winter tends to bring out the adult in us.  Logistics. Shoveling. Salting. Scraping.  Last week was a luxury,  It's a situation of being old enough and young enough to recognize it. 

Reflections from your editor, Cindy Sher, on people living their Jewish lives each day. ... Read More

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