Midnight Stroll

I spent a good chunk of my youth in the colder northern region of the U.S. The kind of place where lakes froze over in the winter and people could drive their cars onto the lake. The kind of place that has things like snowmobiles and snowblowers.

With climate change, I don’t know how much this applies anymore. And for many people I’ve met over the years, these things are hard to imagine. Driving a car onto a lake? For real? Yep.

These days? I hate being cold. I don’t have the appropriate cold weather gear to handle that kind of frozen wasteland of a winter. I don’t want to do it. I’m convinced that the people living there are so sun-deprived as to have gone insane enough to continue living there.

Move me to Costa Rica where the weather is beautifully hot all year long.

There is one thing I have pretty fond memories of though. Well, it’s more a feeling than a full memory, really. Have you been in the forest in the middle of winter?

In the summer, there’s noise coming from everywhere. The bugs buzzing, the wind blowing through the trees. Birds chirping. Animals looking for food. There’s always something happening.

And in the city, there’s always noise regardless of the season. People are everywhere. Animals are in all the shadows where the people aren’t looking. You really have to go out of your way to find pure silence.

In the middle of nowhere, deep into the frozen hell that is winter? No people. No animals. If there’s any noise being made, it’s dampened by all the snow. You can stand there, still, and just be blanketed in silence. A silence you can’t really get anywhere else – a silence made more still by the freezing cold and the undisturbed snow on the ground.

You can stand there and imagine. Maybe there was an animal making sound but the sound wave froze and fell to the snow long before it go to you. Or maybe time stopped, everything is just frozen in place. No movement, no sound.

It’s a special kind of silence. A special kind of void. The kind of void that gives you space to think and clear your mind.

The kind of void that makes for a good memory.

%d bloggers like this: