Sunday, January 20, 2008

Oh Baby It's Cold Outside!

On days like today, I'm able to vividly remember the harsh winters in the midwest where I grew up. Yikes it's cold. And the wind - gusty, sharp, freezing! The wind today is just plain old mean.

In Chinese medicine, wind is a form that demons take. Wind can get inside your body and cause all kinds of problems, like coughing and congestion, muscle aches, in other words, all the symptoms we Americans call 'the flu.' In the throes of a high fever, coughing, nose blowing, barfing, diarrea, and the stupidity that comes along with the symptoms, the flu can feel like a demonic possession, can't it? I think so. Remember poor Linda Blair in The Exorcist? That was one bad case of the flu!

Those of us who believe in western medicine think of the flu in terms of bacteria and viruses. How boring. I'm not saying that viruses have nothing to do with the flu. They do. But that's not all there is to it. The flu brings with it a mood, a feeling comes into the room with the virus. This is one of the reasons I am so enjoying my study of Chinese medicine, because I know what they mean when they say wind can be demonic. I know that feeling of wind creeping underneath the collar of my warmest coat, sneaking up the sleeves of my most snuggly sweater. On days like today I make sure my ears are completely tucked under my hat, not only because ears get so cold, but because I can feel the wind trying to find its way into my brain, down my throat. The ancient Chinese believed demonic winds lived in caves most of the time, only coming out when 'hungry.' Maybe that's why we sometimes say the wind is "biting." Satanic wind, get thee behind me!

There are many different kinds of wind. Some winds are much kinder, some winds blow away stagnant air, bring relief during the summer. Gentle breezes are part of the beauty of spring and fall, too. I'm very friendly with beneficent winds, in fact I feel a familial relationship with nice winds. Why not? But the wind today is no friend of mine. It is NOT my brother.

Thank God for warm hats, scarves, gloves, and for the full length black wool coat I'll be wrapping tight around me when I take Jake for his walk. Jake, too, will be wearing his fleece sweater.

A hard freeze accompanied by a mean wind is part of January here in the midatlantic. I'm grateful to live indoors in a well warmed house, safe and sound, protected from the evil wind. Stay warm, stay out of the wind and be well, ya'all.


kimy said...

brrrrrr! baby it's cold outside. if I could just come up with an artful way of covering up my nose along with my ears without looking like I'm going to rob a bank!

definitely a good day to stay in and hunker down and catch up on reading and dvds!

stay warm. I love your new avatar! hope baby reya doesn't wander off too! xxx

d. chedwick bryant said...

Cold here too--wish it would snow already!!!
I mean a real snow that covers everything and hangs tough for at least a week.

I love the polar bear feet--never noticed their feet before.

Reya Mellicker said...

The feet are great, but it's the pose that's so perfect. It's like they're watching some sporting event. Within the polar bear world, it's possible at times to be an ice couch potato - or - would it be snow couch potato?

My sister Hannah found another blogger who wrote about her polar bear dream and posted the day after my Dreamscapes post,

She also sent me this list, from a Native American symbolism site.

Polar Bear's Wisdom Includes:

* Ability to navigate along the Earth’s magnetic lines
* Introspection
* Solitude
* Expert swimmer through emotional waters
* Finding one way back from the brink
* Ability to find sustenance in barren landscapes
* Strength in the face of adversity
* Communication with Spirit
* Dreams
* Death and rebirth
* Transformation
* Creature of dreams, shamans, mystics and visionaries
* Defense and revenge

They forgot beauty and cuteness. Those bears are smiling - look at the one standing on the right? Where's her handbag?

Barbara said...

These guys hardly look like wild animals. They look totally as cuddly as my lovable dog. And they look equally wise.

Moonroot said...

Hope you and Jake stayed warm & cosy. Here it's not particularly cold, just wet wet wet with seemingly unending rain. And wind. Thanks for the tip about the demons!

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Don't even talk to me about windy weather right now - it's supposed to be the height of summer, calm and hot and what do we have - howling gales that have lasted a week so far. Everyone's ratty and there is no doubt that the wind "gets into you" - it hit my weak point, as ever, so I've been walking around with rice grains taped to various acupuncture points and am snaring my Chinese medicine like they're M&Ms!

Stay warm and cosy and nicely wrapped up.

Steve said...

Brilliant polar bear photo! Did you go to the National Zoo?

I love how you can take a simple subject like weather and bring it such an added dimension. You're a gifted thinker and writer, Reya.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thank you STeve! Wow.

I nicked the polar bear photo from the internet!

mysticalfeet said...

Stopping in to say hi, and to catch up on your past few entries...good stuff about the presidency and the whitehouse...I guess I'm still going through that inside-the-beltway withdrawal. I had a very vivid dream of moose the other night. I so seldom dream of animals, and I was in this dream with the moose, so I took it to be of some importance. Looked it up in Ted Andrews' book, makes sense...

Have you read the book "Staying Healthy With the Seasons" by Elson M. Haas? It incorporates Chinese and Western medicine and follows the year around. Pretty good stuff, and beautifully illustrated.

Washington Cube said...

I like all wind, even the cold stuff. Weird, huh?

IntangibleArts said...

I'll admit that the bitter wind of midwinter feels a bit more sinister. But I completely adore the blustery, aggressive winds of autumn: as a kid, it was clear to me that the world was just being playful... batting things around like a kitten in a mad frenzy.

I still feel that way. It seems we give up everything when we surrender childish intuition for adult "science" and "reason" ...

baaaah, don't git me started...

Lynne said...

I guess I'm glad to have been away and missed the really cold weather over the weekend. The only wind I had was a balmy ocean one! I'm with Ched, a good SNOW (and not that sleety, icy stuff) would be very welcome.