One of the things that makes us human is, I am convinced, a love of warmth and darkness.

Warm rainy nights, especially. I personally prefer cold rainy nights, myself. Getting under a comforter and insulating yourself against the chill and the rain is oddly comforting. I suspect it has something to do with dim, half remembered experiences within the womb, but that might just be the biologist in me talking.

Whenever I curl up in front of a window which looks out upon a night sky filled with clouds and rain, I remember being a kid. In Illinois, the storms were much more severe. In the plains thunderstorms with lightning and hail were common. I'd sit curled up in my dinosaur blanket (shush, you), watching the lightning streak across the sky and shivering, but feeling safe, knowing that I was out of the cold, and relatively safe from the lightning.

Today, the storms are much weaker. I'm on the West Coast, and all we get are piddly little rain showers. I don't complain though, as they always last much longer that the more visually entertaining thuderstorms. When I look at the rain now, I have to force myself not to think about my job, school, the pitiful state of my finances, my health...which is why I always go back to those nights when I was in the single digits. Everything was so much more simple, everything was yet to be explored, explained. I had so much to look forward to, so much time to dream.

I'm glad I still remember that kid. He's my favorite link to the past.

Being warm when it is cold outside and being warm when the weather is nice are two entirely different things.

I love Autumn. I love to feel the cold setting in. The sky turns grey, and we humans huddle under our blankets, in stocking feet, clinging to one another for warmth and comfort.

There are so many things that we do when the weather turns cold, things of warmth that make us feel like children again. Drinking hot chocolate, and asking for more marshmallows, watching a fire in the fireplace. Coming in from the cold, and feeling your fingers burn in the heat of the house.

It is odd, really. Autumn and Winter are seasons with which I associate many strong sensations. But they are all sensations of warmth. Warm jackets, hands shoved deep into the pockets. Home cooked food and family. The smell of zippo lighter fluid. Christmas trees. The heat in my car, how patchy it is, and how it contrasts with the cold seeping in through the leaking doorseals. Wherever I go when it is cold, I always feel like I am driving home.

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