Winter longing / by Christina Rosalie

The cold has finally arrived. “Come on,” it says, “hunker down.” It sends us snuggling under comforters, or to the couch to curl around a book, sipping green tea from a tall mug, as its long fingers creep in under the lintel. It gathers around the window glass, leaving hooray etchings where condensation lingered not long before. The fields are finally dusted with snow---after weeks of off-kilter weather; and all day, in spite of the sun, wondrous, dizzy snowflakes drifted slowly earthward. Not much accumulated, but enough to feel like winter might really arrive. Enough to exhale and feel like though we’re close, we haven’t pushed off over the brink yet. I put on an extra sweater, and though I my feet are cold, I know that I am lucky.

This year has hurtled by me like the herd of wild horses I once watched be rounded up in the tiny French costal village of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. Like them, the days have whirled by, nostrils flaring, eyes large with terror and adrenaline. I was nineteen then, and lithe from a week of rock climbing and sleeping under stars. I remember how I could feel the horses hoof beats reverberating in my heart.

Things were slower then, than now, when instead of measuring my growth by cliffs climbed, or cities traveled, I have the small miracle of a boy who grows each day, and sends love smashing across my heart like that stampede. I look down at my hands and see how a fine filigree of wrinkles are spreading out across my knuckles. I hold my son’s new palm in mine.

Its funny to feel like I’ve been waiting for winter, but somehow that’s the truth. I’ve been waiting for the inevitable stir-crazy introversion that occurs after days and days spent inside looking out. I’ve been waiting for when the time is right gather myself up, and to sift through the collection of artifacts that my soul has become.