Winter has arrived
After the holiday buzz subsides, winter sinks in. Not the gently, snowy kind where you need a scarf and hat, but the whipping, shocking kind that snaps you out of a stupor you had not realized held you.
Bare branches, clear ice, winter clarifies much, snow is almost a blessing in what it conceals.
After snow, clear, January light, the cold light of day that makes my head ache, still, I can’t help but look at it. We can’t hide who we are in winter, we who need shelter and warmth to survive. Our coats and hats and scarves and boots only do so much when it gets down to 0F/-17C.
Once I stood outside in Minot, North Dakota, when the windchill was 50 below 0F (-45C). The conductor warned us about the cold when he told us that we’d be there for a half an hour. I got off the train for just long enough to feel the shock of it before getting right back on board, grateful that we were only passing through. I even called my mom to tell her that I was in Minot, North Dakota, and that it was 50 below.
I couldn’t get that cold out of my mind as we chugged west, looking out the view car onto the strange, flat winter landscape, punctuated by colorful houses here and there, wondering how on earth the heat could keep up with that kind of brutality.
Today I am grateful for my overheated upper-floor apartment, where I can pretend it’s June (or even August, sometimes when the whizzing whining air escapes the antique radiators). I sit next to the humidifier, changing the cold, dry, clear days into something I can live in. I joke about it being twelve-month margarita season in this apartment, but today, on this bitter cold winter day, I am grateful for it.
Sundry Wonders: Winter
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