Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter vs. Summer

People who prefer winter to summer are insane. This is what I and the man who works construction year-round decided while waiting for our daughters to get out of kindergarten today.

The reason why such people are insane is that even in hot climates, temperatures only rise high enough to damage the skin or increase the risk of dehydration. If you have enough water and some covering, you may be uncomfortable, but you will be fine.

Cold, on the other hand, is the primal hand of death. We bundle up in winter not just for comfort, but for survival. When your body begins to shake at the cold, it is a warning that your body competes in these temperatures with oblivion. If you were a pioneer and had not gathered sufficient fuel for the winter, spring would serve only to help thaw your corpse.

Those of us who still trust our inner selves know this instinctively every time we step out into the cold.

This is not to say winter is without its advantages: for example, regions with harsh winters tend to have fewer insects than tropical areas do (sometimes, the primal hand of death works to our advantage). But if, deep down, winter doesn't scare you--well, maybe you should get a job in year-round construction in Utah or Minnesota or serve as a missionary on the streets of a place where temperatures are low and the hours of darkness are long and hopefully your survival instincts will kick back in enough that you will stop taking the insane side of the winter vs. summer debate.


  1. But it is precisely the presence of the primal hand of death which makes snow camping a far purer joy than summer camping.

    In summer, the joy of camping comes from the beauty of nature, and may be marred by mosquitos or the sound of cars passing in the night. In winter, the joy of camping comes from waking up alive, and cannot be marred by anything short of death.

  2. I'd prefer longer Springs and Autumns with shorter Summers and Winters.

  3. A wintery day keeps the Nazis away.

    Winter is the safest time of year.


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