Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Making the Best of a Chilly Situation

I am not a penguin. I was not made for these temperatures. It’s cold and I hate it. Give me a nice sunny Hawaiian beach any day. Just not this. Not the wind chills of -40, not the daytime high temperatures of -30. Just give me a nice warm cave so I can sleep until spring.

I’ve heard people say, just imagine a beach somewhere, the soft sand scratching your back or oozing through your toes. The sun beating down, the waves lapping against the shoreline, children laughing as the water splashes against their legs. Sand castles, or sand sculptures decorating the beach.

Can you see it? The warmth of summer combining with the warmth of family to become one gentle heat wave. It washes over your body, like a delicate veil, and you are left feeling…feeling like a hand grazed over you, like you are locked in a forever embrace with the love of your life.

The children play at the water’s edge. They scream and laugh, splash water at each other. One mother shouts, “don’t get so close to the water.” The child ignores her and plunges in deeper, sits in the moist sand just inches below the surface and lets the water wash over his legs, tickle his torso.

The sky is a brilliant blue, blue like denim, and there is not a tear in the thick threads. Just nothing but blue for as far as you can see. Denim blue meets navy blue at the horizon and it’s like you can see forever. To the edge of the earth.

The only breeze comes off the water, barely even disturbs the trees nearby. But you can feel it. Just when you think it might get too hot, there is a cool breath on your face, over the rest of your body and it’s just enough. Just enough to satisfy you, to convince you to stay just a few more minutes.

Watch the boats on the water. They are little dots, bouncing up and down, like when you roll over on a water bed. You can only imagine the soft shush, shush as it bobs up and down, water that laps up the side of the hull. The water cradles the boat like a newborn baby. Hugs it close, with the steady rhythmic beat of the tide.

But then you peer down the beach. A rock bluff appears to emerge from the water and upon on the pointed crags of rock that jut out from its sides, snow. And a thin glistening sheen of ice. On top of the bluff, a snowman appears to be smiling. Dark eyes peer down at the water, an icicle hangs from his carrot nose and a scarf is wrapped around his wide neck, flapping violently in the cold winter wind. His outstretched stick thin arms are raised as if in prayer, red socks hang from the end of the branches and wave like wind socks. Each tube filled with winter air, and you just want to turn away from the cold. With the wind at your back.

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