I am so aware when talking to people born across the planet how much temperature and weather affects their health, vitality, and emotions. The weather has finally turned cold here in Northern Virginia. I find cool weather invigorating and life affirming. Since this is my birth week and it is finally cold, I am again experiencing and remembering how enjoyable I find weather from 40-20 degrees Fahrenheit.   

Michigan, my birth state, can be a very cold.  It gets “lake affect” snow. The weather is often driven out of Alaska through Canada across the Great Lakes. FYI: From Google: “The name Michigan is based on a native American (Chippewa) word; “meicigama” (meaning “great water,” a word referring to Lake Superior).”

 As I told my life story to a group of students in Oslo several years ago they were astonished as I kept mentioned how the north and cold had influenced my life.  I had never put the cold pieces together.  Here they are:

I was born by C-section during a BLIZZARD.

The name of the town where I was born and was happiest living as a child  was COLDWATER, Michigan.

During WWII, most kids had few toys. My first personal possession the winter of 1943 that had “Ruthann” inscribed on it was a toy SNOW SHOVEL.  And I loved using it.

My age 16 my first love’s name was NORTHA. He’s the only one with that name I’ve ever met.

And then I was living and teaching psycho-spiritual techniques in NORWAY.

I doubt in that sharing that I included that my favorite time for walking is at 32 degrees Fahrenheit when it is snowing.  I find those conditions exhilarating. It’s amazing I am not a skier or a skater.   

 I live in Northern Virginia because of my daughter Laurie’s weaving program and now her wonderful L’Arche Group Home. And I swelter and stay inside as much as possible from June (sometimes May) until the end of September when temperatures cool down. I love my air conditioning.  However, I have felt most complete and happiest in colder weather.

At which temperatures do you feel most alive?

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