I think my winter survivalist spirit has finally kicked in – more out of necessity than anything else. We should be looking at the end of winter with dirty snow piles gently drifting away down sewers and flower beds. Instead we have been granted whiteness and death-dealing temperatures.
The poor bunny has been running around the yard in crazy fox & goose patterns though I suspect he is not playing games as much as searching for something edible.
The chickadees have abandon my feeder when I offered corn.
The drifts come up over the doorsill and I need groceries.

All this leads to a need to go outside today. Usually by this time of year I have quit shovelling walk ways, mostly in protest, but it looks like I will be firing up the blower just to get in and out of the house.

Despite my almost fanatical resistance to winter, I will finally pull out all the cold weather gear, don it all and get out there. But it does beg the question – why do I resist? Why avoid wearing socks well into November? Why ignore the over pants and the expensive warm boots? I accept the coat earlier on, but why the rebellion? Is it because of childhood trauma of being packed like a sausage into a one-piece snowsuit and galoshes where one small slip and you were down and unable to right yourself? What perversity in my soul requires me to suffer through each winter freezing and uncomfortable?

I remember having fun in winters. As a child this sort of winter would have seen me outside daily building forts and tunnels and castles in the snow. Even older I would have skied or skated whenever possible, but now I huddle on my chesterfield with blankets, heated grainbags and knitting, listening to the wind moan and whistle around the house and watching the sidewalk drift in.

Perhaps it is fear that guides my behaviours…fear is what guides most, and I could probably argue all, human behaviours. I know the winter can and will kill me if I do not show caution and care when dealing with it. Perhaps that level of alertness it just exhausting after all these years.

So here it is. Food or fear? Which will win out? It comes down to the most basic of human dilemmas, the age-old battle of the human spirit – do we eat or do we freeze?


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