On the one hand (the warm one, all gloved up and tucked into my fleece-lined pocket), a good stretch of arctic chill can make for some pretty impressive scenery.
On the other, though (the one I can’t feel because I had to take the glove off it to work my camera, or answer my phone, or blow my nose), it’s pretty miserable out there.
Hats off (but not really due to the very real, frostbite-induced threat of permanent disfigurement) to our essential outdoor workers – farmers, postal carriers, construction workers and that Amish buggy driver I saw clipping along highway 47 against a -30 windchill.
You make your way through these weather challenges with an astonishing level of good cheer. Me? I can only seem to muster six letters.
Yesterday my cellphone rang and I had to unzip three layers to get to it. Then, I tucked it under the two layers of scarves near my mouth to answer. (On the plus side, it stayed wedged in there while I walked, so I could tuck my poor naked hand back into a toasty pocket for a while.)
Sunday afternoon, I blinked to clear my vision and realized small icicles were hanging from my eye lids.
Why? Why do I live in a state where the air feels like sandpaper on my face?
Because it’s beautiful.
You’ll see the sun glint across acres and acres of pure, white glossy fields pillowed up against a red barn and you’ll know what I mean. Then, you’ll watch it set, casting jeweled colors on that same scene – citrine to garnet to ruby to rose quartz, to amethyst, to sapphire and you’ll think about how lucky you are to be standing right there at that moment.
I stood Saturday night aiming my camera at all that natural beauty and then…snapping as quickly as possible, yanking open the car door, jumping in, slamming the door shut, catching my breath for a few minutes and saying,
“It is #$@&?&% cold out there!”