Did you know this column appears in what is called the “Opinion” section of the newspaper? That means I get to share my opinion about things. But I have discovered many people don’t want my opinion. Or they only want my opinion about certain things, not others.
I get a steady stream of positive feedback through my website, emails, and even at the grocery store about certain columns. Dead silence about other ones. Even though I am busting a gut to write about some things — because I am an opinion columnist after all — I have narrowed what I write about.
For example, I would love to write about that Barrett, Bunnell, and Hicks’ FLTimes series that was supposedly about high taxes but instead was a thinly veiled plea to commercially develop public spaces on the waterfront. I chuckled each time they claimed that those who want to preserve the open and public nature of our waterfront are only a loud minority. According to a FLTimes article (1/6/24) about the series, it even had a Developer as its “driving force.” If I were going to “opinionate” about it, I would start with a snide but humorous jab at the credibility of that assortment of retired journalists and local college professors they claimed as their “consultants.” But never mind, that’s not my lane.
Next I am aching to write about the long leather trench coats surrounding Trump and planning the institution of autocracy. Do the MAGA minions really lack enough imagination to see they are tools for sociopaths who want to enrich themselves and control everyone else? It’s just as well I am not writing about that because so many of them seem hostile to any criticism of Trump whatsoever. I’ll leave it to Brooks and Krugman.
So I will stay in my lane in spite the loud passions beating at my brain. Instead, I will return to the quiet voices that surround us on every side and also within.
Here is something you may know intuitively but never put into words: very cold weather can be good for us. Yep, it is true. Cortisol levels tend to be lower in our bodies during the winter and that means less stress. Bundle up, enjoy the cold, and reduce your stress. Also, when we exercise (safely) in very cold weather, we receive a higher level of endorphins — and who doesn’t love that? Cold weather also kicks our immune systems into higher gear so that we are naturally fighting off colds and flu more effectively. (Acurite Blog).
My point is that every element of nature, including those within us, has some countervailing impact upon the environment and our lives. We think of ourselves as free floating radicals, individual silos of biology with only the connections we choose. Not so much. We are more like a spiderweb with crisscrossing circuitry connecting us to people and forces, many of whom we know and see but even more of whom we are not aware. Opening ourselves to more and more of the connections and influences in the field around us feels miraculous.
The cold, the relationship of my lifestyle to an unseen Lake Trout four-hundred feet below the surface of steel-gray water, and however you and I are connected is a kind of sacredness. A sacred beauty if we have the eyes to see it.