Monday, January 11, 2010

Arctic Cold

Good Morning,

I wrote a version of this a few years back, but it is appropriate for the current freeze along the Eastern seaboard. It is eight degrees where I live. I have a fire going and it is comfortable inside.

"The warmth of a long ago sun spreads into my room as a log fire burns its way to ash giving back the heat and light of many season’s growth. Flames dance in a flickering grace of form and color. Heat is the result. Light a soft byproduct.

A few feet away is the cold. It is a stinging cold with only a window glass to hold it back. It’s double glass, a bulwark of silica that another temperature and time turned into a transparent glazing of clarity and protection.

In old houses with single panes of flawed glass frost would decorate the panes into a translucent crystal of art, but not now. Modern houses are too tight for nature’s cryogenic beauty to seep in and paint the panes with a cameo of cold. Too bad! Most kids today will miss the vision of feathered frost on the inside of a windowpane where they can scratch their own design into the thin sheet of condensed ice.

Just beyond my outer pane is an astringent cold that if you stepped outside without protection it would hurt, tear the eyes and tighten the inner nose when breath is necessary. It’s an arctic tight. Not a tight of clothes and layers, but a tightness of breath.

But I’m inside and warm and I feel safe.  Proximity to potential danger seems to do that. Other dangers will evoke a similar feeling. High winds, flooding, blizzards, and even summer heat can harm, but if we feel safe, protected while near the danger, then the rest of the feeling and fear basks in the comfort of illusion. Safety is only as good as the protection that holds back the danger.

Damn it’s cold outside!"

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