Monday, December 21, 2009

Looking to Thaw

I wake up in the morning to sunshine streaming through the cracks in the blinds. Beneath the slivers of illuminating light are pockets of pure blue, revealing a perfect, cloudless sky. Sensing what must signify warmth in the air, I hop out of bed, grab my robe, and head to the front door. I allow my face near the windowpane and immediately feel the cool, crisp air drift towards me. This isn’t the heat rush I had hoped for, but I drop my guard just as my instincts take over. I open the door and step out on the front porch. Without a moment’s hesitation, my entire body tenses up. Each nerve ending becomes sensitive to the mere whisper of the wind. My eyes begin to water profusely, and before long, my entire face becomes a source of liquid runoff. Human bodies operate in sync with patterns in nature, and this very notion reveals itself through my body's attempt to balance. While my eyes and nose continue to pour, my mouth completely dries up. I choke on the crispness of the air, and my lungs stop short of indulging in full breaths, for the very act of doing so freezes me entirely.

Whenever I complain about the cold weather, I’m met with unsympathetic responses. “You’ve grown up in New England, you should be used to this by now.” I don’t care what anyone says. I don’t think a lifetime here could ensure that I would take comfort in the bitter cold. It’s been two months now that I’ve been living back in New Hampshire, and as each day passes, I find myself slipping further into hibernation. If you saw me now, you would never know that I once possessed a great love for the outdoors. Spending time hiking, biking, and swimming outside gave me a rejuvenated energy. Now, though, my outdoor appearances have become scarce, and my fresh air fetish has been reduced to infrequent and involuntary outdoor occurrences. As if in hiding, I dart from car, to store, to bank, to restaurant. Not even my shadow can be seen, for my feet out-step the grace of its silhouette.

Perhaps in time, my body will adjust to the brutality that has become of the winter days in New England. But for now, I will continue to sleep through the nights, bundled in overcoat and long underwear, and hope that the morning’s rays bring not only light, but warmth.

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