Winter in the northeast US reminds me of you. The slanted, heatless sunshine, streaming in through the blinds, throwing a yellowish light over the room, reminds me of you. Through my half-opened eyes I see the dust particles floating aimlessly along the sunbeams shining upon the wood floors, and I think of you… The tree branches, devoid of leaves, shivering in the bitter cold, standing upright against a clear blue sky, remind me of you… The smell of the cold wind nibbling at my ears makes me think of you. Something about the scent of winter days brings you to mind- the sounds of crackling leaves and the feel of frozen ground seem imbued in the air of winter, creating a tangible smell that lingers in my hair... I can feel you in that coldness; that sharpness that bites through my lungs, that stings my eyes into tears, that makes me pause my breathing, and think of you. I wonder if it’s the few ‘comforts’ of winter that remind me of you- the warmth of snuggling up under the covers, of pulling my coat closer, of sitting beside a fire, or near the heater. Maybe it’s the bits of welcome heat in the middle of biting frost, enveloping me into a familiar glow, which reminds me of you… I wonder if it’s the way the sun shines on everything- not the harsh summer glare that makes everything radiate, but a cold and calculating light that covers only in measures; the way the sunshine seems to choose where it will fall, what it will highlight… Perhaps it’s the color of the sky; the way the dirty gray clouds hide the fading sunlight, looking ever so ephemeral, always seeming to hang about somewhere near the horizon, and yet taking forever to set….. Perhaps it’s the desolation in the colors of winter that reminds me of you… the beauty of winter’s solitude.
Most of all, it’s the silence of winter that reminds me of you. That silence that pervades throughout the cold, the silence that responds to all my meandering thoughts… It’s the silence that echoes when the wind drops, when the sun travels across the thinning sky, when the cold and barren branches rattle in the biting wind, when the solitary snowflakes drift downward through the night sky. The silence is what responds to me when I remember you… you were never there when I called out into the cold. There was only that resounding silence- that cold, resounding silence of winter days that consistently reminds me of you.
I never did like winter much at all… But I did love you.
January 24, 2008