Friday, February 25, 2011

-14 Below Zero

You can get used to anything. Really. It's surprising, I know, but I am now getting used to living in snow. If you would have asked me a year ago if I could be comfortable living in a climate where snow was simply a daily reality and that temperatures were an average 60º lower than where I was living, I would have just laughed. Really. But I am now living in a place where snow is as soft as fine powder, people don't go nuts when driving in below freezing weather and when you go outside you need a scarf to cover your face because the possibility of frostbite is a daily reality.

The picture on the left is of my commute to the bunkhouse yesterday at about 5:30pm. The temperture was 0º with a windchill of -22ºF. Visibility was limited to about 50 yards. What you are seeing is snow being blown across the road from east to west. It wouldn't just come straight across though. It would swirl too and so the angle was constantly changing. It was difficult to see the road, almost disorienting. The effect it had on the sun and moon was interesting too. Obviously, it obscured them, but it also produced some interesting effects. I saw my first winter rainbow yesterday for example. I am not quite sure how the rainbow was created, though I can only assume that the angle of the sun through the blowing snow somehow created it.

This kind of weather, normal for the Gallatin valley, is also reflected in the actions and attitudes of the people. The ruggedness of the weather creates an interesting character. There is a craving for community, an openness and a deeper desire to understand the things of God. The natural beauty of the valley lends itself to the existential questions of life, but the harshness of the winters - which last roughly from November to May! - also embeds a deep respect for the power of God. You must respect the cold and the snow in the same way a Texan respects thunderstorms in the spring and heat in the late summer.

Just an observation.

1 comment:

  1. On what do you base the statement about their "craving for community, an openness and a deeper desire to understand the things of God?" While people are different as it relates to context, the comment feels a bit generalized. Then again, I may have missed something...

    I'm glad you're settling into the rhythm there!