On Winter


Winter as seen from our neck of the woods.
Winter as seen from our neck of the woods.

I lay in bed this morning, listening to the wind whistle down the frozen street below our apartment, waiting for our electric heat to start pinging, thinking about how dead it is outside. The ponds are frozen, the gardens are dead, the last leaves are stuck in solid clusters. The sun flirts across the horizon and leaves early these days.

I thought about what it might be like to freeze to death in bed because something happened to the electricity and the heat stopped coming into the room. There is a term used to describe what happens to those who are too poor or old to survive winter. It is “Excess Winter Deaths.” It means deaths in excess of the norm for any other time of year. I wonder if there is a season of excess births? I wonder if I’ll manage to make it through the winter without succumbing to the urge to walk south and keep on walking until I reach someplace warm? Past the ice in the streets, with the cold wind whipping at my right ear, flexing my fingers and toes to keep the blood moving in them. Maybe to Arizona, or Mexico, or Belize…

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.