At the Edge of Comfort
There is beauty and sensuality in deep cold,
but there is not much comfort to be found outside.
And so we venture in as well as out
because that is where life is meeting us…
at the edge of what we think we can hold.
~ Chris Heeter
Chris Heeter is a wilderness guide in Minnesota; her poems speak of the animals and plants in the natural world, and her relationships with them. Unlike me, she loves the bracing cold of winter and the way it makes her feel alive. She knows how to spot the animals and their movements in this weather. I’m always happy to get in a few days of snowshoeing in the winter, but when it’s this cold, I have to convince myself to go outside. I would much rather enjoy its stark beauty from indoors.
Fortunately, life meets us inside as well as out. I can train myself to truly see the others around me, to be conscious of their concerns and of the effects of my actions and words on our interactions. I don’t have to let my impatience with and resentment of the weather add to the sense of confinement that I feel—or make life miserable for others around me. Instead of wasting that energy on complaining or sitting mindlessly in front of a screen, can I focus that on creating a change I desire? Can I spend this enforced time indoors doing something productive?
Life meets us at the edge of our comfort zone, whether that’s due to the temperature or to the stories we tell ourselves. We can choose to respond with generosity whatever the conditions, but challenging conditions show us more clearly who we are.