Zip-zopping in snowpants, knit hat pom pom bouncing, puffy snowbooks tromping thru 4 inches on the ground, eyelashes blinking falling flakes out of the way, mittens sweeping accumulation from tops of fences, cars, and bushes, making snowballs meant for tree trunks. The mouth-covering muffler condences, freezes, melts and remelts with each hot, wet breath till its stiff and drippy. Peripheral vision is nonexistent because the hood is pulled tight, making turns a full torso swivel. Toes can still wiggle, but the tips are unfeeling. Fingers are so cold they are hot and stiff.
But, it has been a good day. The snowball war at johnny's house was epic and ultimately triumphant, the forts constructed for the event were soundly built and well placed, the teams fairly matched. The snow is perfect for packing—just wet enough to hold itself in a tight sphere, but not so wet that once turned into a projectile, it would hurt on impact. The light has just now faded, the blues coming out on the snow-covered houses, trees and yards. Shadows dont get black this time of year, just deep navy blue.
Its almost dinnertime. This thought gets feet moving a bit faster to make the blood flow more to all the parts that have gotten wet and chilled and are headed towards frost bite. Also, to speed up arrival home, where it will be warm. And dry. With hot liquids and warm hugs immanent.
Entrance into the back yard shifts the color scheme from shades of blue and white to splashes of yellow from the kitchen window, and orange shadows of people crisscrossing the pools of light. The desire to decipher the identities of these flitting forms arrests progress to the back steps, the last moment in the frosty night savoured, the anticipation of the inundation of physical and emotional warmth heightened by proximity to its source. Access to sensation has been shut down for hours, both by cold and reaction to it, but in a few moments all 5 senses will be alive to all that is comforting and safe. This weather is killing cold, but there will not be a casualty to it here, tonight. That knowledge, not conscious, but felt deep in the gut—the belief that all bouts of severe weather have their end around the family table, is precious and remembered with gratitude long past childhood.