So far this winter I have yet to experience the outdoor chill of anything below 39 degrees Fahrenheit. This is at least true for the daytime hours when I venture out. Snow only came once in mid-November; I can’t remember the exact date although it wasn’t even that cold that day. A sea of powder white covered the streets and melted all away by the next morning. Since then during the daytime, the temperature has been dipping from the high 50’s and lingering around the mid 40’s. The weeks can vary. Rain is not a welcome guest. Clear sunny days give me hope even though the rays are weak. Outside I barely feel the warmth on my face.
I barricade myself from the cold better than in past years. I used to feel too self-conscious to wear a hat out of an intense fear of attracting attention. Somehow I got over that, much like how I could never wear earrings for the same reason until one day I got the courage to try it. Now in this inclement season, I habitually don my blue knit cap and sometimes double it over with a hoodie from my jacket on more windy days. I have to admit though, I don’t know if I can stand putting on the kind of knit hat with the single pom-pom ball at the top. Why do those types always have to be in such bright colors? Will I look ridiculous? Or maybe neither since the whole point is to keep warm.
It was kinda cloudy with bits of sunlight for most of the day yesterday. As I walked, a hard gust consistently blew at me for a few seconds which felt minutes long. So unpleasant. I thought at that moment how wonderful that cool blast would have been in spring or summer. I’ve gotten so used to “suiting up” for the outdoors and going through the motions of incoming darkness around 4 P.M. (Why did Daylight Savings Time have to end… 😑) that it’s like I am going by distant echos of when I could still feel smoldering heat so easily. It’s the here and now and the reality of winter that makes me afraid (as I am every year) the weather won’t let up with time and I’ll be in this haze for all eternity.
It could be worse. There was one year where the temperatures plunged to minus zero and it snowed heavily a lot. Another year the house was without heat for several days after the old boiler went kaput until a new one could be installed. A good number of winter seasons, I almost always got sick from a weakened immune system (most likely from staying indoors too much…).
This year I’m unsure if I’m much better. I struggle on some days with wanting to pull away from people and wishing the whole world would go away or just stop in some way. I can agree that I don’t entirely hate all aspects of my life. The pockets of good are there but on my recent bad days, they seem like a necessary desperation I cling to as proof I have more things to live for and I’m not done yet no matter how much I feel like a screw-up.
Featured Image by Tom Gainor.