It’s nearing the end of January and it’s unseasonably warm. When I go out, I leave my gloves in my pockets and my coat is sometimes a layer too heavy. But, for all this, I don’t go out very often. Temperature notwithstanding, it’s the depths of winter and my mind is fixed there.
As if protecting myself preemptively, I have made myself too comfortable. I can stay home to work and so I do. My daughter, claiming more and more independence, can now walk to and from school by herself, and so she does. I get meals and groceries delivered. Winter hardly touches my daily life anymore. But I still feel in hibernation, in stasis. I say, “still,” but the comfort keeps me inert more than anything else.
The cold I set myself against may have had a purpose after all. After a certain point, comfort seems to have little point. And a part of me wants resistance, something to push and poke and inconvenience. Something to overcome.
There’s a lot of weight in whether or not you choose to avoid the cold or move into it.
Tomorrow, I think, I’ll go for a walk. Straight east, which in Chicago leads to Lake Michigan. Past the Lakeshore Trail clogged with runners and bikers is the real lake shore, bolstered by concrete, and the icy wind there will rip away every last excuse for not paying attention to the world around you and, even though it’s uncomfortable, the horizon is wide open.