It is so cold. The sort of biting, bitter cold that rips through your clothing, pinches your skin and makes you curse the wind. Your cheeks feel raw and your fingers are tingling, begging for mercy.
The overcast makes it feel almost post apocalyptic. As I pass empty streets, I expect to see them lined with burned out cars or zombies feasting on the flesh of a downed foe. The sun rose hours ago, but the hazy clouds hides its warmth and light, and the greyness is all consuming.
Despite the cold and its accompanying bleakness, the day is beautiful. There is a serenity in winter not found in any other season. An insulated quiet courtesy of the snow resting on the ground and held within the clouds. The trees are draped in an icy lace that leaves them delicate, graceful and elegant. And the air smells clean, fresh, new.
The days are frozen in beauty.
I stop for a moment and let the chill, the wind, the grey consume me. My breath is stolen and my eyes burn. My hair defies gravity, blown from its resting place, sticking itself to my lips, obstructing my view.
My nose starts to run. I’m not sick, I don’t have a cold or any seasonal allergies, and yet, here we are. Sniffling and wiping with my mittens, leaving them wet and even less equipped to battle the tundric, gale-force winds.
My pants, full length and generally sufficient for winter wear, have proven to be laughable in their ability to shield my legs from the elements. I’m not even sure they slow the wind down.
As I regain my pace, a car drives by. Splashes me with wet, dirty slush. It saturates my boots, my socks, my skin. One sad, snot-covered mitt slips from my hand and lands in the slush puddle.
I look to the skies and ask “for serious?” of no one in particular. The thanks I get for seeing beauty where there is none to be seen.
Begging for mercy. My fingers had it right from the beginning.