And here we are. Mid-September. People often say (and I’ve said it myself in the past), how did it get to be September? Oh, the past, that optimistically non-COVID place. This year I feel like I’ve had a hard slog to get here. I feel like I’ve experienced pretty much every minute of every day since March 13, unless I worked hard at trying to forget about it. Time didn’t fly; it felt more like it was creepily hovering or downright stalking me. It still does, and now those of us in the the northern climes are staring down the barrel of a long cold winter. No more frolicking outside in shorts and a T-shirt. Even wearing a mask seemed less onerous this summer.
On the positive side, the mask will help keep my face warm in the cold. On the negative side, I can sit here in my shorts and T-shirt all day long and make very serious, thorough plans to get outside regularly. I can make sure I have multiple kinds of coats and waterproof pants. I can add layers to my layers, and sport footwear for every situation. I can have hoods and hats galore.
And, on a cold gray day in December, I’ll still just want to stay curled up on my warm couch, and not leave the house. Ever. But the thing is, I tried that after quarantine and it didn’t work out too well. That Men at Work song, “Who Can It Be Now” became more of an anthem than a cautionary tale.
There are a hundred unknowns going on in our lives right now, but I know these things for sure: Winter is coming, and COVID ain’t going anywhere. So I was sinking in a little pool of self pity today when I came across an article about COVID, winter, and a Norwegian concept called Friluftsliv.
Even without knowing what ti is, it looks freaking fun to say, (free-loofs-liv). And the lufts part reminds me of 99 Luftballons, and with an 80s song in my mind, I can never go wrong, unless it’s Who Can It Be Now.
So what is it? It translates to “open air living” and is a commitment to getting outdoors and celebrating it, no matter the weather. These are the people who have long winter polar nights, so they must be on to something. And it’s not just the getting outdoors, but the celebrating that seems important — to have a positive attitude about winter. They even have a saying: “There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.”
OK then. I have most of the right clothing and I got the living thing down. Now, I just need to work on free loofs part, and maybe get some merino wool long underwear.
Photo credit: Phmillenia.