The opposites of winter and summer (audio)

This was voice recorded and then transcribed, so please excuse any grammar and spelling mistakes. I was going for stream of consciousness over polish.

Here is the raw audio version of this post.


This morning I was listening to a podcast, the Sam Harris podcast episode with David Atilla, and he mentioned something in passing that brought me back to a memory from the summer and then how different things are here in the winter. They were talking about mindfulness and David was telling the story of the first moment he noticed wind on the back of his hand when he was walking. That was a big big deal for him it was the first time he’d felt anything like that, or at least been aware of it. It reminded me of something that I often do in the summer.

There are certain days where the temperature is around 22° and the wind is calm (and I'm sure there's a humidity that’s perfect), so that if you sit outside keep perfectly still, you actually can't feel where your body ends and where the air begins. If you close your eyes it almost feels like you've disappeared or you're just floating in space. It’s this really wild feeling and it happens only a handful of times each summer when the conditions are perfect, but I always look for it.

As I heard them talking about it my mind flipped to how differently you experience your body in the winter. I ride my bike in the winter and when you’re riding on cold days, like -20, you are acutely aware of every little piece of exposed skin. You feel even the tiniest little gap in your clothing with piercing pain – the exact opposite of that feeling in the summer. You’re starkly aware of your body and how sensitive and delicate it is; even a few moments exposed can frostbite and not much longer to death.

It was such a such an interesting contrast between the season. In winter you can't have that experience of just being one with the world. There are a million other interesting differences between the winter in the summer but this one stood out in that it’s something unique to the season and would be completely foreign to someone who hasn’t experienced that season. Anyway, that's all I wanted to record today.

Mark Rabo