“Cold ‘nuf for ya?”
Um, yes, after all it is winter. How many times during these brumal months are we subjected to such a banal and hackneyed query.
Let’s see, on the cusp of March, so yeah, it is bitter cold outside. I peered out the frosted kitchen window this morning and noticed the thermometer read -5 degrees. (That’s without the wind chill of -18, in case you were wondering.)
But being in the midst of winter, New Englanders expect such harsh conditions. And yet the question persists:
“Damn cold out there, eh buddy?”
Yeah. I get it. It’s cold. Damn cold.
Once removed from the confines of such trite bores, I find freedom embracing the cold. There is nothing quite like taking an early morning walk and run with Andi, crossing the street and bounding through the cemetery to fields beyond, and immerse my soul in the quietude of nature.
On a towering hillock of snow shoved against a split-rail fence, I stood and embraced the feeble sun. Andi patrolled the frozen pasture below, sniffing at another dog’s paw prints.
There was a slight bitter breeze, an invisible slice of brutal cold that cut through one’s bones. Yet I stood and felt the faint warmth of our blinding star on my face.
Alone, atop a hill, I was…captivated. Calm and content. One with nature. At peace.
I stayed that way for a good fifteen minutes, gazing at the serene scene before me, thinking how utterly quiet it was. Nothing moved, everything was rooted in a deep freeze. Not a bird flew by. Behind me, snow-laden boughs of pines rustled, a soft, alluring susurrus of sylvan sirens, dryads wooing me from darkled woods.
An arctic chill woke me from my revelry. I looked down. Andi was staring at me, shivering. I thought it best to trundle home. (Well, I did; Andi padded effortlessly on top of knee-deep snowbanks.)
At home, with Andi secured in a blanket or two, I ran an errand to the Town Hall. A queue had formed at the town clerk’s office.
“Cold ‘nuf, for you?”, an elderly woman said to another woman in line.
“Yeah, sure is. And did you hear? More snow on the way.”
Patiently I waited my turn among such prattle, and thought about mere moments ago, standing on a mound of brilliant snow, embraced by the wind and sun.
Another month of winter is nigh, the incessant chitter-chatter of chill and cold will persist, but it will be those moments, of standing still in the thick of frigid air, that will propel me past the palaver and find peace of body and soul.
©Paul Grignon-2014, All Rights Reserved.