by Sarah Klema '23 on February 10, 2023
Portfolio Staff

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I want to run into a forest green I want to run into a forest green and full of life I want to run into a forest green and let this emptiness pour out I want to run into a forest green. 

When I think of winter, it is always with a fondness for the cold. Painted on the fringe of my vision, like lofty angel’s wings, marble peaks of snow hover beneath a bleached blue sky. The mountains. Winter. Bare-boned trees and still gray streets. Cold. 

I have never understood what makes the cold so scary—why people seem to hate it so much. What is so sinister about the fall of snowflakes, cool and soft, piling up outside like sheets of stardust from the sky? 

Or, what is so bad about the soft buzz of numbing coolness that washes over a girl when she steps outside, into that crisp clean air, letting out her breath in cotton candy puffs of cloud in the stillness of a starry night? 

I love the cold. 

So, when you left me bleeding out the empty space you furnished in my chest—after you crept your way inside and picked apart my heart—I was grateful I could still feel cold. Cold encircling my body like a heady cloud of pain, biting and sweet. Cold that numbs the body but clears the mind. Wind that caresses my scarf-bare cheeks with phantom fingertips and plasters pinprick kisses on my lips—numbs me till I feel warm again. 

In the loss of a love, there is a peculiar sort of ache that does not resolve with time and space. An emptiness born out of a vanquished desire, a vanished hope, shattered dreams. It is a sensation with a constancy which mirrors that of the pain found in cold. Cold like a coil of icy ribbons wound around on every limb; cold that fills the hollow stillness of a love-broke heart, fills it with a piercing pain to shock it back to life again. Even as it pulls at the warmth of blood and sucks the veins dry. 

So, when I look back at the love you used to give, and the joy that stuffed me so full of warmth that I forgot how to enjoy the solitary bliss of cold, I am suddenly grateful that you chose to say goodbye. You, whose warmth could not withstand the shock of cold, who chose to say goodbye.  

One day, I hope you can learn to love the cold. When your store of warmth runs out, I hope you do not try to run from the cold that will inevitably usher in. That it becomes for you a constant and a steadfast friend. That you do not mistake it for a hateful thing and overlook its beauty. 

There is a lovely love in cold, in the pain of a final goodbye. There is a sad-sweet stillness and a new-wrought place with space enough to breathe. So, maybe it is okay to be alone on the fourteenth day of the new year’s second month. To accept the funny comfort born from a cutting kind of pain. To relish in the hollowness—replenish it with an older and a firmer kind of love. 

Yes, maybe it is okay.