It seems I have a recurring theme lately: snow. Perhaps it’s because that’s all I’ve seen since November! Here in Michigan, we’re about 3 inches away from the snowiest winter on record. After a taste of 50 degrees a few days ago, I’m so over the latest 7 inches of snow we got today. I just keep reminding myself that it will be summer eventually! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my latest.
The Coldest Winter
Arms folded and brows furrowed, the young woman stared at the shimmering, snow-covered field in front of her. Breaking through the clouds, the sun’s rays kissed her hair. Lost in her memories, she was oblivious to the strands that blew across her face. The wind, as if attempting to bring her back to earth, howled and grew stronger. Much like the thoughts gathering in her heart, the clouds quickly accumulated and blocked out the brightness of the sun. As the frigid air seeped through her jacket, she shuddered and pulled the wool fabric closer to her slender body, and she tucked her red, chapped hands under her arms to shield them from the cold. Despite the low temperatures and biting wind that were adding to her misery, she wasn’t quite ready to turn away and go back inside.
Remembering the last time she had been in that field, she squeezed her eyes shut; a single tear crept through the dark lashes curled against her white skin. The tear slid down her cheek, glistened on the end of her chin, and remained suspended. Transported back in time, her cold lips turned up slightly and the furrowed brows slowly relaxed. It was fall—harvest time in that small town—and the blue skies contrasted sharply with the brown soybean fields. Sitting in the tractor as he harvested the plants that were tended so carefully over the summer, she didn’t have a care in the world. As they drove in straight lines across the field, they shouted to each other over the rhythmic hum of the large machine sharing stories, jokes, and dreams. Slowly drawing in a breath, she tried to recall the warm, earthy smell that always surrounded that man. Instead, she gasped as the frozen air entered her lungs and jolted her back to reality.
Bending down and scooping up the pure, white snow, she let it slide through her open hands. It fell through quickly, much like the short time they had spent together, but a few snowflakes remained stuck to her palms. However, the small bit of warmth in her hands soon melted the flakes and left tiny puddles on her skin. The snowflakes were gone; their intricate beauty now only memories. She wiped her hands down the front of her jacket and realized the time they had spent together was nothing more than those snowflakes: mere memories.
She needed to get a grip on herself and let him go. She was, after all, the one who had walked away from him in the first place. She knew it never would have worked between them anyway, and a small cloud escaped her lips as she sighed and turned her back to the field. Setting her gaze on the horizon, she straightened her shoulders and smoothed her windswept hair. The first few steps were timid, but each one grew in strength and purpose as she refused to stay frozen in her memories. Even the coldest winter must come to an end—melting away to spring and the reawakening of the world.