Winter Zen: Taking A Cue From Snow Monkeys

Living in Southern California where it’s a few hours drive to see snow does not give me the credentials to write about winter.  So here’s a lovely piece written by Barbara J. King and a meditative-monkey glimpse  for all you living with winter-white:

“We are about 15 days away now from the spring equinox — but winter is not yet done with us.”

“By measures of temperature and precipitation, winter 2015 has brought ongoing hardship to many in the U.S., perhaps especially in and around Boston, where epic blizzards continue their toll.”

“At this point, those of us in snowy, icy locales may need some inspiration to make it through March. I have found mine in this three-minute film, produced by Art Gimbel, of Japanese snow monkeys in Jigokudani Monkey Park. The film is also featured online at National Geographic.”

“As primates, like us, these monkeys delight me: Look at the intelligence in their eyes, the delicate fingers as one monkey — clutching close a juvenile, perhaps her child — plays with a bubble in the water.”

“We see in the film the monkeys’ profound relationships made real by grooming rituals, and the animals’ calm as they seek, in warm spring waters, a respite from the snow and ice.”

“So, sure, who can resist red pandas cavorting in the snow? But if it’s winter Zen we need, it’s the Japanese snow monkeys from whom we may take our cue.”

“Barbara J. King, an anthropology professor at the College of William and Mary, often writes about human evolution, primate behavior, and the cognition and emotion of animals. Barbara’s most recent book on animals was released in paperback in April. You can keep up with what she is thinking on Twitter: @bjkingape.”

Top Ten Ways: How to Get Through the Winter.

I can barely imagine what it is like to be “snow bound”.  Having spent all of my life (minus the first year) in the SouthWest I have no concept of living in a State of Snow.  One of my dearest friends Jann lives in Minnesota.  Jann has fibromyalgia yet she walks 2 hours every day, rain or snow. (Blizzards excluded)

This is for you Jann!

#10:  Schedule 15 minutes every day to be depressed and then Zumba the rest of the time.

#9.  Go to Brazil for a Bikini Wax

#8 Crank up the thermostat and go to bed with “Ben & Jerry Chunky Monkey”

#8  Stoke the furnace and go to bed with Ben

#7  If Ben Doesn’t work try the Monkey

#6 Fill the basement with sand and sit under an umbrella in a bikini (see #9, you’ve already had the wax)

#5  Be grateful.  It could be summer, 100 degrees with 90% humidity and you skipped #9

#4 Start training for the Iditarod.

#3  Make Snow Angels and become rich by selling them on Etsy (or e-bay)

#2 Run for Governor, become a Vice Presidential Candidate and get the hell out of the freezing weather



The Land of MAX