Written last week when the high for the day was 4, with a wind chill of -16.

It’s cold. It’s the kind of cold that strips away your skin. It freezes the ink in my pen.

I walk outside and for a second I have to check to make sure I remembered to put on pants. It’s the kind of cold that makes you feel naked to the world.

It’s the kind of cold that takes away your breath, and that is not a metaphor.

But it is a romantic cold. We are all in this together. We bundle up under heat lamps, squishing our heads into our necks, like pigeons hunkering down. We welcome more bodies into our space, because we can create heat and generate a common goal. It’s too cold to not get along. We carry the weight of layers. We are protected in other ways now. We don’t need fists to feel a stinging punch. So our eyes smile at each other above our face masks and scarves.

It’s the kind of cold that hurts your eyeballs. It makes you hopeful that the temperature tomorrow will reach up to 8. This single digit number is comfort in this type of cold.

But it is also a privilege to live through this cold, to know that you have warmth to return to at the end of the day. We are thankful to know that eventually this, too, shall pass.

That is not a cliche.

Or maybe it is, and we need the metaphors and cliches to defrost our frozen minds, to help us think until we can melt away from hibernation.

Because it is too cold to think of much else.

It is just that kind of cold.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Clayton said,

    This one somehow slipped by unread. That is no longer the case. Beautiful time of year, and then, not so beautiful in other more ‘stinging’ ways. Soothed by lotion, or a mom’s devotion~

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