Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bright and Cold

Today dawned bright and cold. It’s the kind of day that I never remember seeing growing up. In Michigan cold weather meant clouds and snow. When I first moved to Dallas these kinds of days amazed me. I remember the energy I felt upon seeing the sun in winter. How could one ever be depressed when the sun shone year round? I was used to waiting through the dark months of winter until spring to see any sign of the sun.

I wasn’t as startled by the combination of sun and cold as some people, however. Quite awhile ago now, probably 25 years ago, I was told a story by an older attorney, Russell Mann, in New Mexico. Mr. Mann would be in his nineties now if he is still with us.

In the 1920s his father had moved to New Mexico from the Midwest and bought a ranch. One day in December, Mr. Mann’s father went out into the bright sun to do his chores. By the time he was done he had almost frozen to death.

The temperature was 20 below. It never entered his mind that such a beautiful sunny day could be so cold. In the 1920s New Mexico was unknown and mostly unsettled territory, full of surprises.

I understand. Even after 25 years in Dallas a day like today is still a delight and surprise to me.

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