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Snow.

I was so happy when it came.

The first snow invoked a sense of disbelief-

Could this be happening?

Was this really mine?

Was the snow here to stay, just for me?

The first flurries sent chills of curiosity, intrigue, and hope down my spine.

I spent all my time playing with it.

I snuggled into its cold embrace,

Lying there for hours, glad that I had finally found a home.

The snow made me feel clean, worthwhile, fresh.

It invigorated me, made me want to go, do, see, feel-

to love.

The fingers of cold air slithered into my lungs, invaded my body,

became a part of me in ways I hadn’t imagined.

Sometimes the cold frost prickled my skin, causing the pain of frozen flesh-

But the euphoria was worth the pain.

I was happy-

Until spring came.

I tried to hold on to the snow, I tried to keep it by my side-

Don’t leave me so soon! I miss you.

But the snow had already melted.

I naively thought that it would stay forever, that the promises of its white blanket would cover me always.

But I knew spring had to come.

I had known it all along.

Having chosen to ignore it, the inevitable shock was amplified tenfold and rattled my bones.

I was knocked to the ground, the air left my lungs, and I wept.

I wept for the companionship that I had lost.

Slowly, a warmth started to penetrate my body.

The sun had come out to comfort me,

sending beams of light to dance across my back,

Reminding me.

I looked up, gathered my forlorn limbs into a semblence of a skeleton,

and drug my weary body onto my feet.

I felt a warm breeze tease my hair and caress my face,

Whispering words of hope.

A smile crept across my face, slowly but surely erupting into a grin of elation.

Yes, winter was over. Yes, the snow had left me.

But it would return. One day in the fall I would feel the cold breeze again,

and remember.

Today, it is spring. Today, I will hope.

Today I am free.

Free to embrace the hope of summer and create my own reality.

Free to stop relying on the cold, steely determination of winter,

Relying on the sweeping course of mother nature that takes no detour for no man

To show me the way that I should go.

So, now, the snow is gone. And part of me mourns its passing.

It was a good winter.

But it will snow again. And, for now, I get to enjoy running free through the fields of tall grasses,

feeling the wind in my hair and the sun on my face,

and live.

just.

live.

 


Cold is an interesting thing. We all treat it like a tangible thing, but really, it’s just the absence of heat. Cold doesn’t even exist. But it seems so real to us and our senses that we treat it as its own entity which comes creeping into our houses, finding the tiniest cracks in the windows and slowly oozing it’s way closer and closer to our shivering bodies. It slithers like a snake, eagerly sapping what life energy we have, constantly searching for gaps and crevices that it can slip into.

But, for some reason, I love it. I love the cold, the feeling of snuggling up under a blanket to keep warm, feeling the cold brisk wind on my face, wriggling my toes to see if they are still attached to my foot, and watching my fingers slowly lose their dexterity. This is what I thrive off of, this is what keeps me alive.

I went sledding the other day. The brilliant genius that I am, I decided that I didn’t need to wear my snow pants because  jeans would suffice. I also had no need for actual snow gloves, or snow boots; I grabbed my knit mittens and silly little fashion boots, tied my hair into pigtails, shoved on a hat, wrapped myself in a scarf, threw on my rather long black creeper trench coat, and toddled out the door. Common-senseless girl strikes again…

Kenya bought crazy carpets for $2 at Dollarama, and the four of us set out to conquer some hills. The first hill was pretty steep and slick, and one by one we found our own special track and dove down the slippery slope. But then I had a problem; I couldn’t get back up. Emily’s fashion boots had NO traction. Whatsoever. I discovered this when I tried to run up the hill… and my boots started slipping… and I slid backwards. I looked around to make sure no one had seen me epically fail and, to my relief, they hadn’t. So I took a running start and tried again. And slid back down again. And again. And again… It was fairly pathetic. Everyone had noticed by now and was trying to give me helpful tips, but it just wasn’t happening. I became quite frustrated. I felt like a pathetic American who can’t even climb a snowy hill. Eventually, I gave up all sense of dignity and crawled up on all fours. In my jeans. The ground was cold. Not my best moment, to say the least.

My trench coat was also not the most ideal piece of clothing for snow frolicking. It is made of wool. Snow stuck to it. By the end of our play date, I was covered head to toe in snow, looking like an anorexic snowman. Snow stuck to my fashion boots, my knitted gloves, my scarf, my hat, and most of all my black coat. I imagine I looked quite silly.

And my jeans… made me cold. Snow went down my pants, into my boots, and my jeans got incredibly caked with snow. My legs basically froze until I had no feeling left. Do you ever get so numb, that you’re pretty sure if your pants fell down by some unfortunate circumstance, you would be clueless? Your pants could be down around your ankles, and you’d feel no difference. It’s a very dangerous place to be in, and it makes me paranoid that I’ll look down and suddenly be pantsless. That’s how I felt. Luckily, my trench coat is long enough that it would cover my bum in the event of unexpected pantslessness. Whew.

Eventually I was cold and snow caked and I ended up just waddling back to the car, like a little child who is insanely bundled up by their paranoid mother. When I got inside, the snow started melting until I was a gigantic black sopping mess. My legs were frozen. Even after I changed pants, for a good hour afterwards, I got this feeling that I was radiating cold. You know how, if you’re really hot, you feel like you’re radiating heat? Imagine that, but with cold air. Like there was this huge pocket of cold air being created by my lower limbs and being held hostage in my pants legs, and I was a walking human ice cube. It was actually a pretty cool feeling (no pun intended… haha)

You might think that this was a negative experience, and maybe I’d get some sense and realize that snow is cold and evil. But no. The blame was not the snow’s, but was mine to take. For not wearing appropriate winter clothing. I love the snow more than ever, and it was an amazing afternoon, full of love, laughter, and wrestling in the snow.  The snow is, and always has been, my absolute bestest friend ever. Take that, snow haters. Don’t b hatin’. And I don’t care if you’ve seen it on 4 chan b4.


I hate cold showers. Showers are supposed to be warm, relaxing, and beneficial to my mental health. A cold shower is just torturous and not enjoyable in the least. When I was in Bolivia for 3 weeks, they only had cold water. And of course I did it and didn’t complain, but I will not lie, the first thing I did when I got back home was to jump into my own hot shower; it was the only thing I missed from America. Not the food, not the convenience, not the people, no, nothing but the hot showers.


Yesterday, the unthinkable happened! The hot water stopped working for no discernible reason. I mean, they were doing work on installing solar panels to heat water, but they did not intend to break the water and could not figure out how to fix it. Meanwhile, Emily is all ready to take her shower; she undresses, puts on a towel, gleefully skips over to the bathroom, eagerly anticipating her morning shower, and turns on the water. She waits patiently, cramming herself into the corner of the shower stall so as not to be touched by a single drop of cold water, and waits. And waits…. And waits… But the water doesn’t get any warmer. It stubbornly remains ridiculously frigid ice water! Frustrated, Emily leaves the shower only to confirm her suspicions with another Grebelite (person who lives at Grebel, the place where I live). She thinks to herself, “Oh well. I’ll just take one later tonight. Going a day without showering won’t be that bad….” WRONG.

After lounging around in her pajamas for a while, naively hoping that maybe the hot water will come back soon and she can still have a morning shower, Emily finally decides to put on real people clothing, no matter how comfy her pajama pants are. She sniffs herself, decides that she doesn’t smell too offensively, and layers on some extra citrus smelly good spray to mask the smell, just in case.

All day she is extremely paranoid, thinking that maybe someone will decide her hair looks disgustingly greasy, or that  she’ll raise her hand in class and knock the person beside her unconscious. However, this apparently doesn’t stop her from mentioning the fact that she didn’t have a shower to every person she talks to. I’m not exaggerating. Somehow, for some inexplicable reason, she works into every conversation that sheis unclean to anyone who will listen. By the end of the day, half the people at Grebel probably knew of the unclean swamp monster that was Emily.

Of course, she isn’t really that dirty. She hasn’t sweated profusely because the most strenuous exercise she does on a daily basis is walk up 2 flights of stairs. She hasn’t wallowed in some mud hole on the way to class. She hasn’t been hanging out on a farm with massive amounts of feces. But just the knowledge that she hasn’t showered in over 24 hours drives her insane, until she becomes extremely paranoid and curls up in a corner, yelling at everyone that tries to come near, telling them that she is “unclean.” Nobody questions her because she looks like a rabid beast, ready to bite off the hand of anyone that comes near.

Any hope that maybe she will still get a shower that day is crushed when she finds a note on the wall basically saying, “well, we have no freaking clue how to fix this, and we have lives, so we’re giving up for the day and we’ll be trying again tomorrow at 6:30 AM. Have fun kiddies!” All hopes dashed, Emily slinks off and quarantines herself in her room for the rest of the evening, forgoing all human contact.

Finally, it is time to go to bed. She can just fall asleep, pray that there would be hot water the next day, wake up the next morning, hop in the shower, and finally feel clean. And never ever make the faulty conclusion that skipping a shower would not be psychologically traumatizing again.

But her body has other plans. It decides to forget how to freaking sleep. As soon as she lays down to go to sleep at the decently late hour of midnight, she is filled with a horrific realization: she isn’t tired. Toss and turn as she might, listening to the chillest music available to man, she can not drift off. She silently screams into her pillow, desperate for this torturous day of filth to be over.

Finally, her body decides that sleep would be beneficial. She slowly nods off. But no, her body isn’t done messing around with her poor weary mind. It decides that 6 in the morning is a perfectly reasonable time to wake up. Unfortunately, her brain doesn’t agree. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem; she could just wake up a little earlier and start her day. But not this day. Somehow, she convinces herself that if she gets out of bed before 8:45, there will be no hot water and she will be forced to suffer a painfully cold shower. No one should have to take a cold shower when there is snow outside. However, if she waits, the nice men would have time to fix the hot water and all will be well. So she waits. And waits. And waits. Staring up at the ceiling, half delusional, she has never ever wanted a shower more in her whole entire life. All she can think about is how grimy and gross she feels, and how amazing a hot, steamy shower will be. She starts fantasizing about the shower, building it up to monumental standards that it can never live up to in real life. But she doesn’t care. Ever part of her body yearns and aches for that shower, until it almost drives her mad.

After lying in bed for a tortuous 2 hours, her alarm finally rings. Emily almost falls out of bed with excitement, and rushes as fast as she can to the shower, ripping off her pajamas and madly grabbing the neared towel. The sign outside the bathroom confirms her hopes, and her heart leaps for joy. The hot water is back! Overjoyed, she does a mini yes dance in the hallway, and springs into the shower. As soon as the water cascades over her longing body, she breathes a sigh of relief. Everything is right in the world. Emily is clean once more. The psychological torture has ended.
Never. Again.


Today I saw something that I don’t see everyday. Two squirrels in a deadly battle. On the front patio. As I sat at breakfast with a table full of acquaintance-friends, munching on my daily bowl of multi-grain cheerios, I pondered these two squirrels. What could they be fighting about? Perhaps the one squirrel had simply stolen the other’s nuts. Perhaps there was a voluptuous lady squirrel that they both had their beady little eyes on. Perhaps they had joined a squirrel version of fight club to spice up their mundane lives of nut-gathering; squirrels need to feel alive too!

But then the obvious hit me- the squirrels were different colors! One had fur of a steely gray hue, and the other possessed a silky black black fur coat. Here in Canada, apparently squirrels come indifferent colors; back home we only had the common gray squirrel. Clearly, these Canadian squirrels were racist! They had not been able to settle their racial differences in a peaceful manner, so they resorted to sheer violence!

I was appalled! Since I am majoring in Peace and Conflict studies, I knew I had to do something- this would be perfect field work to put on my resume! If animals can’t even get over their racial differences, however will us blundering humans manage to get it right?

So I stepped out onto the patio in the brisk October Canadian morning, and attempted to grab the squirrels. However, if you have ever seen a squirrel, you know that they run fairly quickly and would be hard to catch. I can only imagine how humorous it must have looked to the people inside the caf to see two racist dueling squirrels being chased by a silly American girl, still sleepy from having just woken up, dressed in her pajamas, and yelling profanities.

But eventually my efforts were rewarded; the squirrels were too involved in their racial dispute to notice me sneaking up behind them, using a left over decorative corn stalk as cover. I grabbed them both by the scruff of their necks, and glared at them. “Now just what is your problem?” I inquired, quite irritably.

Unfortunately, squirrels don’t speak English. So I tried again- “Porque Uds. (I didn’t want to offend them, they could be my elders for all I know) se pelean?” But these were not Spanish squirrels either. They simply stared at me for a few moments, than started struggling and waving their tiny squirrel hands all about in a quite irritated manner. The gray one then proceeded to bite me, and I let out a yelp and unintentionally flung the squirrels into the nearby tree.

Success! The squirrels were now knocked unconscious, therefore their fight had stopped. Emily saves the day yet again. Quite proud of myself, I sauntered back into the caf, to the horrified looks of all the environmental majors. “It’s only 9:15, and already I’ve done a great thing for this world,” I thought smugly to myself. Let the day begin.

What day is it again?

August 2017
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The Dusty Archives of my Mind

‎"If I went through life by myself, I'd waste a lot of my time wandering around in the wrong direction"