It’s to be expected during the winter months in Minnesota that the weather is cold. Bitterly cold after the New Year. It’s normal that my poor little feet don’t thaw until mid-May. And I wear more clothes to bed at night during the winter months than I wear during daylight hours. For some reason my body temperature goes down in the evening with the sun. But that’s not why I’m numb today.
The gravel road that links Goose’s country black top with the highway is frozen. Ice covered with gravel rocks jutting sharply through the ice. You’d think it would slow you down if you started to slide toward the ditch. But it doesn’t. The car tires are cold too and they just slide across the surface of the ice, never really making contact with the road. The sun is shining brightly as I turn left onto the two lane black highway. I reach for my sun glasses to block out the harshness of this afternoon.
I was there for him today. Just like many other days. But today.. he listed me as his emergency contact person. I thought I was being honored. Instead, I was being embarrassed. I couldn’t tell the difference. I’m numb inside as I drive. I see road.. nothing more. I don’t feel peaceful. I don’t feel satisfied for having spent time with him. I don’t feel. I don’t understand.
The farm fields are white with piles of snow banked up against the snow fences that are in place to prevent the snow from blowing across the flat dormant earth onto the roads. The snow is dusted with black dirt from the strong winter winds that carry the soil away. I wish the wind would carry me away. I don’t want to feel. Now I remember why I ran away to hide as a child. I didn’t want the hurt feelings to come. But they are powerful as the winter winds and they always find me. They cover over me, burying me in stinging white pain. You’d think that snow would be billowy and soft as a sea of cotton balls. But it’s actually very harsh. Crisp and biting. It chaps your exposed skin in a matter of minutes leaving the raw, blistered redness behind.
As the miles pass by, the tears well up in my eyes. The only sound in the car is the droning on and on of the asphalt beneath the tires. Before long, the tears overpower my restraint. I don’t want to hurt. But I can’t hold it back. The truth is more powerful than my hiding place. Beneath the chilling snow drift, I’ve been found. The tears fall.