Cold as a Witches Nipple
There’s a kind of cold that finds crevices, that seeps through layers, that renders life immobile. It felt her up, while she stood knee-deep in spun sugar and watched it twinkle like glitter in the air. It breached her mittens and wool coat. Slipped under her sweater. Seared her skin like flame.
Ice crystals beat like cymbals when she gulped air, held her breath, and dove in. Her fingers frosted over on contact. She couldn’t feel her feet, and her face mimicked childhood: whatever expression she held, it froze that way. As she fanned her arms and legs and took in the open sky, she hoped paralysis rendered a smile.
Battles are won and lost in arctic cold. Some survive it. Others are chilled to sleep by the icy stabs of winter’s jagged teeth. Every encounter with single digits is a duel with nature.
She watched the landscape change underneath her feet. Fought the unexpected urge to fall as the ground gave way to a filmy crust of dubious thickness. It was like walking in soft sand at the edge of an ocean, underpinned by permafreeze.
It was the hill that did it. When she sat on the plastic saucer. When she leaned back and crossed her legs. When she took one last aching breath of air. She rocketed through space on a ribbon of white, screaming with a pitch of the first time, and she fell in love with the enchantment and brutality of the Wisconsin winter.
This post is part of the series Doing It Our Way, an homage to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, birthplace of MTM. If this is your first visit to the series, like all of these winter activities were firsts for me, please click here to read from the beginning. Thank you for reading, for subscribing and for sharing my blog with your world.