On Hibernation

Minnesota is really cold right now. Like, REALLY cold. It’s winter, for REAL. And when it’s winter, for REAL, in Minnesota, you start to hear a lot of things. People talk about the weather because it’s an actual topic of conversation. Not small talk. I mean, when your skin freezes after being exposed for about .2 seconds, and there were recent snowmageddons which mean you can’t park anywhere close to where you are going, or see around corners, or do ANYTHING without it being an ORDEAL, the weather is stories. And inspiring.

My friend Hilary (11lightbulbs) and I have been talking about this. The inspiring. And how THAT’S why people live in places where there are seasons. It’s not because the changing colors are pretty (they are) or because snow creates a winter wonderland (it does), but it’s because sometimes winter SUCKS.

I mean, January is GONE. I have no idea where it went. Actually, I think I have no idea where ANY of the past four January’s have gone. Other than Jan 1 (one of the greatest days of the year), I have NO recollection. It’s like I hibernate. And then I emerge, not because it’s no longer cold and snowy and kinda terrible. But because I’m OVER IT. And determined to make something of the rest of the winter and not let it get to me. Some go to Mexico, STAT, in February and March. And some tough it out, but as the days get longer again, we get up and put on real clothes (not just casual Friday, oops it’s only Tuesday? clothes) and caffeinate and make shit happen. That’s where I’m at right now.

And THAT’S why we love the seasons. If we don’t know the darkness, the hibernation, the steeping of ourselves in coffee and sleep and movies and books, we don’t know the waking up. The inspiration. The NEED to be social. Our creativity goes through the seasons, not just our trees.

So I read this article on the possibility for human hibernation. And I get it. I don’t think I would hate waking up in April 20lbs lighter. But I’m not sure I’m willing to sacrifice my experience of the darkness. The withdraw into myself. The deepening of my ideas and relationships with snow and ice and blackness and sunlight. Or the amazing winter culture that only people with winter can have. The bonding over ice dams. The Irish Whiskey. The discount at Sebastian Joe’s. Cabin weekends in the snow. You know?

About anemilie

Cultural anthropologist, philanthropist, strategist, management consultant, process architect, brand builder, hockey player, lover of all things sparkly, traveler, singer, writer, photographer and all around smarty pants.

4 comments on “On Hibernation

  1. I second that! Great point Em, and well said (I say as I throw on my black MN sleeping bag jacket and brave the windy white downtown).

  2. I just want to hibernate all summer- the “steeping” in winter is my favorite part. Summer is like sizzling angst for moi- but that might be cause the summer in NY is not quite as magical as the summer’s in MN.

  3. I totally agree Emilie – what is it that everything has to be perfect here! I’ve been sick of this, subject to this in more ways than one all my life. Its taken me a long time to realize that, I’m not going to be perfect, I just want to learn as much as I can. If that’s not good enough, then so be it!

  4. oops, sorry my previous comment as for your post “Fix-It Culture”, not Hibernation.

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