Winter’s Soup

First, the world freezes. Winter blankets it with white snow. Next come the ice pellets, banging on windows and aluminum roofs: a thousand tiny salesmen. Having arrived, they congregate and form the hard, translucent layer of ice that nonetheless for being thin separates us completely from the powdered softness beneath. We go out in our boots. We struggle for balance, sliding or crashing through the ice, hurting our ankles. Still, we laugh. The air is crisp, our breath is vapour and the wind is restful. And then the thaw.

The sun, rising like on every morning, is warm. We get out of bed and our window is wet—on the outside. Water drops grow heavy and spread veinally down the glass. Seen through this distorted pattern, the world looks melted. The ice layer liquefies. The liquid saturates the snow. Under the eye of the sun, liquid becomes more liquid. White dissolves into green but mostly brown: mud.

We pull on our winter clothes and sweat, and we trudge through the fresh soup, which, displaced, rises and pours into our boots. We get a runny nose. A cough develops. We wish for health, dryness and next year’s fluffy, cold winter.

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