The biting cold of the winter air washes over me like a wave from the Arctic sea, bathing me in a blanket of icy numbness. First the tips of my ears go cold, followed by my nose and then my fingers; next comes the slight tingling sensation that always accompanies the chill like a hero’s sidekick, or a villain’s minion… However, the cold bring with it a sense of peace, serenity, calmness – everything is still and quiet – and within this tranquillity there is a sense of feeling alive! It makes our skin cold to the touch, red and tingling; it makes us shiver, our flesh coming alive with goosebumps – all things that remind u that we are living, we are feeling, we are human.
Looking up at the sky, I see a blank blue canvas unmarked by evaporation’s white tufts of cotton for winter is dry. It brings down no drops of rain because rain I only stolen from lakes, oceans and rivers and given back by the heated hands of summer. There are no birds flying, no insects buzzing. Winter mornings are announced by the twittering of birds who didn’t fly to some warmer place and at night the occasional ‘hoo-hoo’ of an owl can be heard; other than that, winter brings nothing, but silence. Lonely, empty silence that speaks in nothing, but the whispers of a slight, frosty breeze; a silence so quiet it’s deafening.
The trees are now bare, stripped of their golden currency by the billowing gusts of winter’s beginning: skeletons of a summer long over. The grass (now the colour of unprocessed sugar) is marked with patches of icy frost like opaque tattoos designed and needled by winter’s artist hand. The branches of the summer skeletons now hanger for the shingles of frozen clothing and the eyes of houses now blinded by the frosty cataracts created by the winter air. Winter: turning everyone who steps outside into chain smokers, with clouds of white emitting from noses and mouths with every breath; the air now a cigarette shared by friends at winter’s four month long party.
The winter sun: an orange orb of hot ice – seemingly meaningless as the cold air only seems to get colder like an oven of ice. The sun surveys the caramel world below, catching the tattooed frost, making the land blink with the eyes of one million fallen stars; the earth now a vault of precious winter jewels.
Walking down the street, the sounds of creaking and cracking greet me like warnings of an unwanted presence. Everything around contracting, becoming smaller to hide from winter’s prowling air – the land now one big, old house occupied by an unwanted, malevolent presence only made known by the creaking of floorboards and chill in the air. Each step I take sounds like walking on a street of opened candy wrappers, the frost crackling beneath my boots as fragile as phone screen glass. My teeth now flamenco dancers: chattering as the cold blanket of the air wraps itself tighter around me like the grip of a desperate man’s hand around another’s throat.
Winter – a season of ice. Winter – a season of jewels. Winter – a season of summer’s skeletons. The days become shorter, the nights become longer and the air becomes colder, freezing the earth like a temporary mild ice age. Winter: a magician; the land becomes his stage filled with weird and wonderful tricks designed to astound, amaze and sometimes even scare his audience – us. There is no denying the power of it’s icy, sharp presence with each breeze pulling you beneath a wave of ice, and there is no denying it’s beauty and sheer brilliance.