On the Return of Warmth


(NORWAY, Hardanger) It was actually spring in Norway when I took this. Who woulda thunk? (Photo taken and edited by the author.)

(NORWAY, Hardanger) It was actually spring in Norway when I took this shot. Who woulda thunk? (Photo taken and edited by the author.)

There’s a thin line between equanimity and indifference—the distinction rests solely, I suppose, on what one feels (or whether one even feels at all).

A few patches still remain from December’s snows (to get the allusion, you’ll have to read my January 1 post). The thawing is erratic and uneven, and occasionally, the ice actually grows back. There are still stretches in the day when I feel disconnected from the world, dazed and disoriented from a hypothermia of the soul. The glare still blinds; the wind still chills. I feel as if I’ve been bleached as white as an Arctic plain.

Occasionally, just occasionally, the sun will break through a pack of clouds, and for a moment, warmth becomes more than just a remembrance of the past.

It’s arduous work, breaking floes and shoveling snow. And no one else gets it unless they’ve been through winters themselves. The ones who live in internal climates of near-perpetual sun will offer their puzzled sympathy at most—of course, one takes what one can get.

Besides, empathy helps in marking the line between equanimity and indifference. Empathy is a woolly beanie’s worth of warmth in a long and numbing night.

(Empathy, unfortunately, still doesn’t help me warm my cold and freezing feet.)

But the ice is receding, bit by chilling bit.

Let me admire the snowflakes while I can.

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