Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The First Deep Cold

It’s morning. Temperature is two degrees. It’s early and I have a fire going and feeling safe after the first cold winter’s night of the 2016 season.

The warmth of a long ago sun spreads into my room as a log fire dissolves its way to ash giving back the heat and light of many seasons' growth. Fluid flames dance in a flickering grace of form and orange light. Heat is the result. Light is a soft byproduct.

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

I grew up in old houses with single panes of flawed glass. On most winter mornings, frost would decorate the window 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! How many kids today will miss the delight  of feathered frost on the inside of a windowpane where they can scratch their own design into the thin sheet of ice crystals.

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, it's embracing! It is the knowing fierceness of potential danger that can’t reach us that keeps us in the fort of comfort.

Damn it’s cold outside!

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