Why I love to be beat up by the weather

 
 

The World Is Too Much with Us

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending we lay waste our powers;

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. -- Great God! I'd rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

William Wordsworth


I have only been hit a handful of times. I don’t like it. I avoid it. While I work hard to keep my sentences short like Hemingway I do not follow him to romanticize pugilism. Yet, I may suffer his condition when contemplating being out in rough weather. Growing up in Wales, I was raised by the storms that roll off the Atlantic. The cadence of rain lulled me to sleep. The clamoring wind, cackling and clanking as it played in the rigging of boats suggested a lullaby. I associate these sounds; like howling wolves in the western wilderness, with the vastness of nature. 

I remember crouching on mountains. Drawing my body together to reduce the surface area exposed to the wind. Trying to hold on to heat generated from within before it flew away, leaving me chattering. The dainty dance of mind games. Imagining I was either warm or cold when dealing with the hasty hand of maritime weather. The frequent shivering. The sense of damp foreboding as a chill spread from extremities to core. These are all part of my heritage as someone raised in the mountains of the British Isles. Routed by a gust and deposited in a heap. Crawling clients from a Scottish mountainside. Locked in the featureless world of a winter whiteout. All generated by the harsh reality of two battling air masses. Polar forces mingling and colliding with those from the equator. Hot and airy meets cold and heavy. The result, a maelstrom of air currents and punctured clouds. Hardly drip, drip, drip. More open sluice.

When people ask me what brought me to Colorado I tell them I was seduced by two numbers. Appropriate pause. 300 days of sunshine and 100 days of powder. There is no doubt I love the climate of my adopted home. Yet, I still hold a hankering for those blustery, grey days. The romanticism prevails because I no longer suffer them. What is it about wind blasted brutality that leaves me so uplifted? It is an instant recall to stories and reminiscing about previous adventures. It is a reminder of my culture, who I am and where I am from. It is a reminder of the force of nature and both my insignificance and also my significance. Most importantly, it is a nod to what I am capable of. Standing firm when nature is screaming at me. Holding my own when she beats and pummels. Being resolute when others less used to these conditions are turning face. These are example of my mettle. 

We all need these reminders of what we can be. We live in a “world that is too much with us; late and soon.” It is too easy to focus on the inconsequences of our daily lives. Bury our heads and only remember our purpose in fleeting moments or “Great God” forbid when it is too late. It takes courage to live your own legend and courage needs memories. It needs to be told it has been here before. These moments of environmental hostility are my measure. They remind me of my journey. The times of heroism. They wake me from my daydreams and make me want to live my potential.

What helps you be the best version of yourself?

Wil Rickards