I have looked at the sky at different times. It has been bright during the day, and starless dark late at night. I have stared at the sky while the winter wind whipped my cheeks, but I have also gazed at it when the summer sun toasted them tenderly. The truth is there is no special time to stare at the sky, except when the moon and stars are gloriously out for unusual attention. The sky is barely an evidence of change unlike us, the land-dwelling creatures.
Here in Gambier, Ohio winter sets in early December if not late November. I tell you though; it is untraceable. It is a kind of place that likes to not make up its mind. It leaves its inhabitants with a little hope only uncertainty would allow, at least in the beginning.
Winter is brutal here. Deep into January, the temperature is lower than a hu-wo-man skin could bear. Heavy snowfall dries out the trees. Bulky clothes take the hu-wo-man form, but fail to keep the very inside of it as warm. Hearts frost until spring comes around with forgiveness. Only then, when the temperature scales up and the sunbeams find you with their truest warmth, you feel the tangled, frozen knot melt inside of you.
The truth is winter makes you forget the other. Freezing is a slow process, especially when our crafts-wo-manship has made all the right materials to enclose our feeble bodies. We do not give our full self to the change of times like the plants. We are covered and protected. Our ingenuity serves an illusion that we are above nature and have found ways to come around its brutality. I cannot say this is not true, because we probably would have ceased to exist if not. Albeit, winter still snows into us in more subtle ways.
I am writing this in spring or perhaps summer. I can not tell because the classic time periods when we should expect these two have not kept in line. That should not matter though. My point is that I have seen more people in the past few days than I have seen in the past four months. I see students lounging their tired selves. I see the sun shining proudly and indulging all the appreciation and attention it deserves. The rhythm of life is changing. There are cacophonous sounds that come from curious places because young people are trying to dance and sing to the warmth’s arrival. I have come back to sit on a bench.
Simply, the emotional snow seems to be evaporating from all of us. I see the bubbles of hope climbing up the shiny rays.
– Birhanu T. Gessese
Featured Image is writer’s original artwork.
Images are writer’s original artwork.