In the South, I used to play in the woods every Winter. The snow usually fell through the night and left a powdery bank that I would hide behind. I’d dig my way inside like a cave – calling out into the white flurries – hoping for a familiar echo. Nothing ever came.
Snow is an insulator. Wind breaks over it. Sound dies upon it. Sometimes, I’d climb so far inside my fingers would grow numb. Away from the world, away from everything, there, in the middle of the forest, I couldn’t feel my toes. But I could feel my heartbeat.
I knew what grief felt like, but my tears turned to ice when they hit the slush beneath my fists. The pain became a part of the solution. It became my escape. Here, I could control what I felt. And sometimes, if I planned to stay for a while, I’d bring a blanket.
I felt a little warmer knowing I was a mile away from our double-wide trailer. Maybe it was mind over matter, but somehow I knew that it would be colder inside at the dinner table. The scraping of fork over knife as everyone pretended to be fine when we weren’t.
To this day, my body grows cold when my heart breaks. When the world seems wrong. When I forget what a real hug feels like. On days like these, in the middle of a California Summer, I find myself praying for snow.
is a writer, artist and human/animal rights activist based in Echo Park- Los Angeles, CA. The Stephens College graduate loves poetry, camping with her rowdy friends and tequila of many varieties.