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Grade
10

Welcome to winter, where the only thing we know for sure is that one day, it will be spring. I hope you enjoyed those last few days of fall, with the pretty leaves and the warm sun on your shoulders. You have a long ways to go before that will come back.

 

There must be places where spring does not come. I wonder what winter would feel like, there. We are lucky. It will be warm again, eventually. March, April, by May it has to be warm. The sun will come back. Until it does, we will wait. I hope you brought a book.

 

Welcome to the kind of cold that can destroy you if you are not careful, and maybe even if you are. A power outage would be the end of the world out here. You might want to start wearing a hat to bed. I’m sure you know it’s impossible to fall asleep in the cold. Somehow, your body knows that falling asleep in the snow doesn’t give you good odds on waking back up. It is better to stay awake.

 

There is cold, and then there is this. When it drops this low, this fast, the cold feels almost warm. The snow is only soft. You can fall asleep just fine. I do not know why.

Perhaps it has something to do with having already given up.

Please, go inside when you’re tired. Don’t stay in your car once you’ve turned the engine off, even if you are only going to sit for a few minutes. Time doesn’t move quite right when it’s this cold.

 

You are farther north than any other primate, now. It is possible we were never meant to be here.

 

You might think that, if you make it to spring, you will have some kind of immunity to the cold. Might think you can go where the temperatures barely dip below ice and walk around in shorts, a tank top, take your coat off and feel warm, simply because you have been cold, before.

If you are still here, when the world unfreezes, you will forever be the first one to put on your coat. Winter is a losing battle: the closest thing to winning you can do is survive.

You may as well be warm.

 

I hope you brought your dog. Winter is good for dogs, even all-consuming winters like this. They always seem ok with living in a world that refuses to melt. And your dog will be happy on the days when you stay home with them, when the entire city shuts down for the cold and you only leave the house to walk them. Go for short walks. Dogs don’t always realize when they’re getting cold.

 

Welcome to a world that’s covered in ice, in snow, in sleet and freezing rain and the kind of wind that threatens to rip branches off of trees. Tomorrow, the rain will have frozen into more ice. At least the ice will freeze the branches to the trees they are so nearly broken away from, will keep them from falling off entirely.

At least the ice will be pretty.

 

Welcome to winter, where it seems it might not ever be warm again. Spring is not a given, not here, not today. A bit farther north, farther into the cold and wind that is pouring out of the end of the earth, and spring might not even be a possibility. What that must feel like.

 

On Neptune, winter lasts forty years. Perhaps our planets switched places when we weren’t looking.

I wonder how far north you have to go before you don’t have to worry about the world ending, anymore. How cold does it have to get for zombies to freeze?

There must be a place where the immediate cold of today means that there is only so much you can worry about tomorrow.

 

Welcome to the coldest day of the year. The sky is bright blue, today. That tends to happen on days like this. Don’t walk your dog in jeans. They will cut your legs open with cold, today. Take your glasses off before going outside, too. They will freeze to your skin, and the cold doesn’t care what you can or can’t see. It will be there, regardless. Don’t stay out for too long. Make sure your dog’s paws are covered with something, that they are not facing the cold on their own. Make sure your dog is warm. Today, you are not responsible for much, but you are responsible for your dog. When you come home, don’t turn your heat up too high. A power outage would be the end of the world, out here.

 

The sky really is quite pretty, today.

 

Welcome to the middle of winter. The center of the universe is everywhere, because the universe does not end, and the middle of winter is everyday now, because winter might be equally endless. The world might have ended yesterday. Perhaps it will end tomorrow.  Today, it is so, so cold that the rest of the world, tomorrow, yesterday, everything that is not here, now might not exist.

 

Ignoring the cold does not make it go away. Winter is a losing battle, yes. But if we pretend it does not exist, we have already lost.

 

And if we pretend tomorrow does not exist, it’s all over, today.

 

We are on Neptune, we are farther north than we ever should have gone, winter is never going to end. Put your book down. We cannot wait this one out.

 

Welcome to a world that might be frozen forever. Let’s reopen our city. It is cold, yes, but I do not know that it is going to ever be warm again. We will just have to learn to live in the cold. We will have to make our own warmth.

 

We are farther north than any other primate. Perhaps we were never meant to be here, but this is where we are, now. The snow is pretty, don’t you think?
 

 

 

State
MI
Zip Code
48104