The Pain of Thawing

Snow in New York City Photo credit: Emilia Navarro

Snow in New York City
Photo credit: Emilia Navarro

I remember. The crisp clean air, cutting through you like a knife, the painful jolt of it as it burns through and hits the lungs. The brittle blue sky dome stretching tautly overhead. The bare tree branches wrapped in brilliant crystal, nature’s luminescent ornaments. The quiet of the icy day, for though there are other’s sounds, the cold has blocked your ears.

I remember the slush on the roads, the slipping and sliding away, sideways, along the street hoping no one crashes into you while you work to concentrate, turn the wheel into the skid, yes, into the skid, pump the brakes ever so lightly. Think, think, think, in slow motion, yet it all takes no more than several seconds.

Then back on the road again, like nothing happened, until it does once more. Boots crunching on the piled snow along the sidewalks. Boots slipping on the ice, oops, bottom hitting the cold, glassy surface with a sudden sting. Bounce right back up like an Olympic gymnast. No one notices; all too busy keeping their own feet safely on the treacherous ground.

Covered from head to toe, parka snapped and zippered shut. Crocheted scarf wound tightly around neck and mouth and nose. Eyes alone braving the frigid air.

Step by step, you stealthily make your way to the warm enclosure.

And then once inside, the pain of thawing.

***For my daughter, a dear friend and all who are currently braving this brutal winter.

6 thoughts on “The Pain of Thawing

  1. J.G. Chayko

    Beautiful. I felt the pain of the thaw, the stinging of the air. Fabulous imagery. We’ve had some days like that, mostly it’s just cold and wet. I’m looking forward to spring. Hope you are well.

    1. Irma Post author

      Hi, J. Thank you! Even though I’ve been living in the near tropics for a long time now, I will never forget those years spent up north. Feels like yesterday, sometimes. Stay well and warm.

  2. carlascorner

    Irma: I’m weird. I like winter and snow — as long as I’m not forced out in it. Thanks for the reminder for all the pain and aggravation it brings, there’s also a wonderful sense of beauty.

    1. Irma

      Hi, Carla. I loved winter, when I could sit home and watch it happen through my living room window. Once I was “trapped” for two days, the whole front of my house packed hard with snow after a blizzard. Of course, there was a back door so I wasn’t truly trapped inside, just inside my neighborhood. There’s nothing like that first fresh virgin snow, but I’ll take palm trees, please.

  3. Wren

    Going back inside and warming up after time outdoors in the cold remains one of my all-time favorite things in this world. There is just nothing like warming frozen hands on a cup of hot coffee or cocoa. Thanks for invoking such a lovely memory, Irma. You made me smile. 🙂

    1. Irma

      Thanks, Wren. There are some things I miss living in Florida, like seasons. We have two, hot and hotter. But you’re right, there’s nothing cozier than warming up after being out in the cold.


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