I remember a night when I was younger, walking around the Detroit Institute of Arts and Michigan Science Center (formerly Detroit Science Center) around the holidays when they were doing a holiday-themed event. It was a clear but cold night, but that didn’t stop us (my family and I) and the rest of the hundreds of people from checking out exhibits.
The different exhibits of history, arts, and science were in different buildings. It’s set up sort of like the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
In between those categories, we were walking in the cold. As a kid, I was cold but I didn’t trip too hard because I knew there was some hot chocolate and indoor spaces that were going to come into play. It helped that my dopamine was getting released by learning things with exhibits and I was always excited about that especially at the Science Center.
I remember another night in San Francisco at Ghiradelli and walking along the Embarcadero by Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf. I believe it was the night of the tree lighting in Union Square. We arrived late and it was packed so we just went to Ghiradelli etc. More hot chocolate and indoor spaces, but this was only a few years ago so it wasn’t as much excitement about the hot chocolate.
Even when I was younger, I noticed the couples walking around. There was always at least one couple where the boyfriend/husband would be warming up the girlfriend/wife with an embrace.
I remember a few homeless people gathered around some can of burning paper or wood on both occasions as well.
I’d imagine that because of the nature of the human embrace with endorphins being released, that’s the best one. The sugar reaction of hot chocolate would be second.
I could feel it by just observing that those embraces were nice. The smiling, the looks, and the kiss.
(Wow. My hopeless romantic side is just spilling out right now.)
I was thinking about these sweet situations as a kid and knew I wanted that experience when I grew up.
Living in Michigan in that cold winter weather, I really liked those clear, cold nights with no breeze. I liked the transition from cold to warm by going inside. The warm temperature (color-wise) lights. The places with fireplaces. The nice environment. Warmth.
The beauty of contrast when it was snowing or even just snowy on the ground regarding color inside and the blues and whites outside.
When we got home from the Detroit Institute of Arts, we would make a fire in the fireplace and be warm there.
Though I love the cold, it causes some tensing of the muscles. It’s not something I’m aware of so much when walking in the cold, but I am aware of the relaxation when I transition into warmth. Every time I think about the cold, I end up on the thought of rosy cheeks and drinking hot chocolate… and sometimes a couple embracing.
My enjoyment of a cold night is knowing the moments that would keep me warm and hoping they would happen.
Perhaps, the enjoyment of life is exactly that.