Friday, January 8, 2010
The Awesome Power of Cold
With the frigid temperatures gripping the nation, I've been reflecting on cold and it's power. There is something mysterious and even awesome about cold.
To that end, I've been reading a book titled, Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places, by Bill Streever. Streever, a biologist who lives in Anchorage, Alaska, is an aficionado of cold places. The book is a travelogue of places he has visited over a year's time.
"We fail to see cold for what it is: the absence of heat, the slowing of molecular motion, a sensation, a perception, a driving force. Cold freezes the nostrils and assaults the lungs. Its presence shapes landscapes. It sculpts forests and herds animals along migration routes or forces them to dig in for the winter or evolve fur. It preserves food... It preserves the faithful in vats of liquid nitrogen from which they hope one day to be resurrected."
We know that cold is powerful, causing injury and even death. But can this force of nature be respected and even appreciated? Without cold the earth couldn't exist in its present form. We need the polar ice caps for nature's balance. The cycle of nature in the northern hemisphere needs cold to produce needed snow and to foster hibernation for certain species.
Cold is a necessary part of God's creation. While it is one of nature's gifts that is difficult to be thankful for, we need to see its importance. Maybe we would appreciate cold more if we got out of our heated homes and cars and felt cold's power to invigorate.