“No one said anything about cold”- Ragetti in At World’s End
Hating the cold, I donned coat, gloves, and boots to go for a walk in the glacial mountains of Colorado. I put in my headphones and began to kick up
powdery clouds of nearly weightless snowflakes. I made footprints in crunchy snow along a rushing river of metallic silver. My small frame wound through brittle branches on dead trees, cutting into the muted blue sky above me. The cold temperature sunk into my clothes, nibbling on my nose, toes, and fingertips.
I saw ice growing on everything like moss in a rain forest. Patches of white snow rested on evergreen trees, big and small. Water was crystallized on the surface of water biding rocks. I stepped carefully, observing the world as though it were a impressionistic painting of a winter scene. Paintings often portray the world in a romantic light, colors saturated and contrast exaggerated, magic incorporated through colors naturally foreign to the environment. There seemed to be a thin, hued veil, tinted blue and thrown over the entire landscape. I drew closer and farther away, noting how appearances changed at different angles, how the light hit things differently as I rose or lowered my body. I squinted at the heaps of snow and rough surface of the low icy river, turning their reflected light into white orbs with my eyes. I noted my changing perception as I drew face to face with the bark on a sleeping, barren tree as opposed to a dozen feet away. I was drawn toward trees still grasping their green pigment, toward berries of red like frozen drops of blood against the snow covered earth.
It’s easy to prove that nature is alive, and it speaks. As I walked through winter’s portrait, I felt the colors filter through my fingers. I could feel my heart listening to the slumber of the trees, shrubs, and flowers and translating it’s language into emotions. I could understand and communicate if I felt inclined to truly listen. Tapping into the mood of the life around me, I felt enveloped in its calmness. Everything was sleeping, except for the river. The river fought against the sedating cold, as did I. It’s edges had surrendered to the battle and nearly halted at a molecular level. I watched the river, so tempted to throw off my clothes and take a swim, but my knowledge of its deadly icy torture dissuaded me.
I could have tread on forever, absorbing everything I felt, touched, heard, and saw. But the path cut off to thick, tall shrubbery with rigid, sharp branches. I was forced to turn around and end my enchanted walk. Slowly and mindfully, I exited the painting. Respectfully, I said goodbye through my feet and promised return, more for my own consolation than that of the mountain.