Oh, why oh why do I love winter so? I love the goose bumps that thrill up and down the length of me as I stretch a tiptoe out from under the covers on a crisp blue-white morning. For this wonderful coldness, I gladly suffer the stiffened gate that I have seemed to develop in all of my hinged areas, it gives an interest—as I bob and weave along—to my cold dark shadow, which erratically follows me down the hall. I stiffly lurch toward the coffee pot handle and pour the liquid life that will thaw my frozen lips.
Yes, we have heat, at night we keep it at about 70°, a tropical oasis that I dearly love paying for or rather, pay dear for, but anyway it is worth it to freeze in a warm homey setting.
The cold has chosen me as its playmate, and has settled in my personal atmosphere—my space—and I shake with a slight tremor of gladness constantly. I should be filled with disgust, it seems but I’m snot, I mean not. I find all of this delightful, and exhilarating is it to see the moist diamond that rides on the tip on my nose—my constant winter companion—as it glistens in the sun ,that is, if we must have sunshine.
I really care very much for the snow especially after the first day. I do not take it personally, those times when the innocent looking cold wet mass so artfully sloshes onto my ankles and slithers so gracefully down into my boots, no matter how tall they may be. The piercing shiver that follows can cause a sudden misstep and there I am enjoying all winter has to offer, while making snow angels on top of my monkey grass as I stiffly try to roll to my feet. This is a part of my winter that my neighbors can take part in also as they dial 911, while looking at me to see if I am watching them laugh with their mouths wide open!
This loving relationship—not—that I have with winter even expands on the long days of gray. Because of lack of clear light, I often find that I have stumbled into the refrigerator and the handle pops the door open as I grab it for it in a bumbling shuffle. Often, it seems, my hand comes out with unnamed goodies attached and I sacrifice myself for the sake of a belly that has turned into a chunk of ice. The high energy it takes to digest a morsel, or say, a ham hock, or even a vegetable—like a bowl of baked beans—is what it takes to thaw that frozen breadbasket. And so I expand right along with the brittle breathing days that go on forever.
I watch my winter bushes, and trees so starkly dreary they hang upside down celebrating winter, they poke through the hard unforgiving turf, such a beautiful dull shade of khaki, their knobby fingers still growing, pushing and clawing deep in the earth, rooting for warmth, and their legs and feet nakedly swing upward in the grating winter wind. Listen closely hear their bone creak. We are longing for spring together. Arghhhhhhhh Kentucky winter must you never leave?
Oh please! Do, do, do, do, and do! Soon!
I must compose myself, upon seeing the first crocus pushing through the brown dead grass. I must not turn a handspring, those days are long gone and I must remember my dignity—also the monkey grass—and keep my feet where they belong. I must silence the song that is bubbling up from my heart until I know for sure-for sure, winter is past.
This long good-bye from my fickle foe, teases me with its disappearing tricks, gone, and then it is screaming in my face again. Winter is growing old but is still very childish with hide and seeks games. It need to get on out of here and make way for the weather that can love on you, with a warmth that you lean into with relaxed bones and willing flesh. Seek comfort from the harsh weather so long endured in the fact that tomorrow the emergence of the frisky or sluggish groundhog will tell the tale, “It’s over it’s over!” or six more artic weeks. “Oh no, that thought really chaps my lips!!!”