The Tragic Optimist

Ode to the cold

Back a week and a half ago (was it really that recently?) when we had our previous cold snap, they promised us that it would be the last of the brutally cold weather of this winter. They lied.

There are a lot of things that I love about the weather getting this cold. I love the brilliant, clear blue sky that you get when it’s too cold for much moisture to fog things up. I love the sun dogs and sun pillars that appear when the sun shines through ice crystals. I think it’s cool how in just a short walk from the car to the library, my travel mug – full of warm, caffeinated liquid – gets so cold on the outside that it hurts to hold it with bare hands, and yet the coffee inside stays lovely and toasty (I could write a separate love letter to my travel mug). Once it hits -10° Fahrenheit, soap bubbles freeze and crumple before they can pop. Frost forms on the inside of windows because the outside air just sucks the heat away.

I know that I can appreciate the bitter cold like this because I can escape it. I have a car with a good heater (and today, I have Chris’s car, with seat heaters, mmm). We have a house that is well-insulated and cozy. I have silk long underwear, fuzzy boots, a very warm coat, hat, scarf, and mittens (though I keep losing the mittens). I also know that it will end – despite all the jokes about winter in Minnesota being a 10 month ordeal, the brutal cold won’t stay for much longer, it will warm up,, we will have spring.


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