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a cold day

I had to walk back to the house along the highway this morning, after dropping the car (the remaining car...) off for scheduled maintenance.

It was so cold, penetratingly cold, killingly cold, and windy--but it was morning, and the sun was out.


This afternoon, walking that same route back to the mechanic's, it was a race between me and darkness. The clouds were rosy when I set out, and there was incandescent golden-orange brilliance behind the supermarket. But the light was dying and the wind was fierce, and I felt *very fragile* walking against the stream of homeward-bound cars. Almost no one walks that bit of road. Where there was briefly a sidewalk, I passed a woman walking her dog. Otherwise, I had my footprints from the morning for company. Somehow, my journey felt supernatural. When I was walking, step after step, through the crusty snow, pushing aside briars and the skeletons of mugwort or goldenrod on the safe side of a crash barrier, I felt that I wasn't in the same world as the people driving in cars. I was in some huge, howling, dark world, a world of coldness that would be happy to extinguish every living thing. When I made it to the mechanic's and opened the door into that warmth, I felt staggeringly relieved.

And then I drove home. And I myself was in that nice, ordinary world that I'd been on the outside of, walking on the roadside. But I could remember it.

This entry was originally posted at https://asakiyume.dreamwidth.org/871542.html. Comments are welcome at either location.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 13th, 2017 08:27 pm (UTC)
I swear every year, the cold comes earlier and earlier and leaves later and later.
Dec. 13th, 2017 10:05 pm (UTC)
For me, I think as I get older, the cold makes me feel more and more aware of death.

Dec. 13th, 2017 09:55 pm (UTC)
That is austerely beautiful!

Trying to imagine that roadside covered with snow . . .
Dec. 13th, 2017 10:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you--it was beautiful. The sky is so expressive.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 14th, 2017 09:20 pm (UTC)
I think of how cold your house was--at least I can get warm in the house!
Dec. 15th, 2017 10:05 am (UTC)
Beautifully described.
Your description and photo reminded me of the coyote attack on a man walking to work because his car broke down, near a place I have walked. You were fortunate not to have been attacked by a pack of wolves.

Dec. 15th, 2017 01:15 pm (UTC)
Fortunately (but also dangerously) the highway I was on has a good amount of traffic at that time of day, so coyotes stick clear of it.
Dec. 15th, 2017 10:29 am (UTC)
cars: Portals into another world, a world within a world
Dec. 15th, 2017 01:15 pm (UTC)
Yes, very much so!
Dec. 16th, 2017 09:10 am (UTC)
Portals to a different world ... an extension of, more like.

At least, back in the days before air conditioning and tinted windows. When you could see into other cars, each carrying the same lifestyle as the home it came from.
Dec. 17th, 2017 01:45 pm (UTC)
Oh wow--like looking into the windows of people's houses at night. Sometimes I like to look over at the drivers of other vehicles when we're all stopped at stop lights--see who I'm sharing the road with.
Dec. 15th, 2017 08:15 pm (UTC)
That is an uncanny and shiveringly beautiful picture. Walking to and from the conference here the wind is chilly (should have brought a hat!), and the traffic is intense, but I feel like it's a different order of challenge: everything seems a bit softer here.
Instead, in England winter's grip is visible and daunting in the _gloom_ that remains through the brief hours of day: the sun just doesn't have much lighting power here, it seems. Looking forward to coming back to Pioneer Valley's sunshine, whatever the temp!
Dec. 17th, 2017 01:46 pm (UTC)
A gentler cold has its own subtle dangers, I suppose!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )



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