Walking in the Cold

The cold is enough to steal your breath. It is frigid outside and the sun has remained, coquettish, behind an incessantly cloudy veil. What did spring smell like, again? Can someone share a reminder of what hope feels like, swelling in chests attached to shoulders which are unfurling after so long hunched and surviving? Blooming fades to fuzzy sepia tones, memories quickly forgotten. 

The cold is enough to steal your breath, but nothing is more important now than breath after breath after breath. 

So start with a thermal shirt and add another layer, and then another. Nothing short of wool socks will do and, though they threaten to swallow a human whole, big ole’ scarves should be wrapped at least twice. There is a neck to protect, there is a library hold to pick up, there is a walk to take despite the temperature, despite it all. 

The first steps bring on huffing and puffing more than one usually cares to huff and puff, but if you keep talking, if conversations about frustrations and dreams and recipe ideas can just persist, then the body has time to adjust. There will still be teeth-chattering, hands will still have to hide themselves up sleeves that are a little too long, but the shock is an ebbing thrum, drifting away gently after only landing a sucker punch or two. 

The cold is enough to steal your breath, but nothing is more important now than breath after breath after breath. 

When winter dawns her gauzy ball gown and vows to dance for months and months and months, what are warm-blooded humans to do? The answer, I believe, is that those humans should keep going. 

When the day is infuriating and despair is a vice that tightens with a persistence that seems to border on glee, what are soft-hearted humans to do? The answer, I believe, is that those humans should keep going. 

When the literal and figurative cold twines bony arms around your torso, when shivers turn sinister and lungs seize up, what are air-dependent humans to do? The answer, I believe, is that those humans should keep going. 

Inhale, inhale, inhale–fill cracking lungs with courage. You will adjust. We can adjust. Don your cozy armor, link arms with those beside you, and go for an ache-defying, courage-building, refreshing, difficult, freezing walk. 

The cold is enough to steal your breath, but nothing is more important now than breath after breath after breath. 

So breathe, and walk; toward spring, toward tomorrow.

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