STEAM-Powered Winter Activities

Technology takes some of the sting out of winter. With modern heating, fabrics, insulation, snowblowers, plows, salt trucks, and more, the challenge that has traditionally faced humanity in the cold months has been greatly mitigated, at least for those with access to a roof under which to stay.

Along with the harshness of winter, however, there has also been a traditional sense of kinship, of warmth; a commitment to stay warm and dry, share and enjoy the fruits of a recent harvest, and rest until spring pushes us into a new cycle of work, like the buds of a perennial flower breaking through frosty ground. The pre-Romantic English poet and abolitionist William Cowper captured the feeling of winter well in his magnum opus, The Task:

O Winter! ruler of the inverted year,
I crown thee king of intimate delights,
Fireside enjoyments, home-born happiness,
And all the comforts that the lowly roof
Of undisturb’d Retirement, and the hours
Of long uninterrupted evening, know.

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