"No," I said. "Let's stay inside, by this gas fireplace and our pot of soup and our dry woolen socks and warm blankets. That wind isn't out to make friends."
But who am I to say no to a walk, or at least convincingly so. My husband took out all our winter wear, tossed three choices of mittens on the floor, and--when I was layered-- zipped my jacket up so tight that I couldn't move my chin. Still, beyond our walls was an old fashioned Minnesota blizzard that was depositing in sum sixteen inches of snow. I glanced out our front window and could barely see across the street.
"Really. I don't know about this." I didn't. There was such howling, such icy gusts creeping through the opened door. I felt almost dread.
But I followed him. Into the cold. Into the wind. Into the flying pellets of frenzied ice that flung themselves into my once-warm cheeks and once-open eyes. "I can't see!" I cried, and was literally crying, thick tears soaking the edges of my scarf as quickly as the landed snow could find a thread of wool to melt into. But I was laughing, too, because the drifts were at some points up to my thighs and I kept falling over and I was glad I had this best friend with a mittened thumb to grab, leading me on into a time of year that I deep-down love, even if it is begrudingly so, that cold.
But in the woods there were no excuses. It became quiet, flakes still flying, but the wind less severe. We tromped up and down, through and over, until we came to a stream that was covered in white and too wide to leap.
"Let's sit," he said. And we dropped, our bodies supported by a foot of fluff. Later we walked home, got in our small car, and braved the roads (his idea) for the promise of red licorice and red wine and good cuts of steak. But for a while we just reclined in beds of white, warmed by the limbs of trees, the last turning of yellow leaves, and an afternoon of being in the world.