It’s Winter, but I venture out. By February the ache of the frigid air has affixed itself to the inner linings of my knees and hips. It breaks away with forced movements, like a layer of ice after hours of sleep. There’s a dark numbing solitude that has laid claim to the back of my skull, like a pack of frozen peas on the back of my head, but I trudge onward. Like a zombie through a dead frozen world I walk. Nature is perplexed by my life force trespassing in Her world of slumber and death, but I walk on. The wind bites my lungs and dries my eyes. Its bone chilling movements slip inside my flesh and hold my organs in a frozen embrace. It’s cold, very cold. Dangerous ice beneath my feet becomes translucent, and the muck of the road stares up at me in twisted impressions suspended in time. I walk on, but more cautiously. I breathe, but not too deeply. I fixate on the steps before me. I curl my toes and I can feel them scrape the inner linings of my soles. “I’m ok, it’s not that cold.” I chant in my head. But it is that cold. A minor misstep, a small oversight, a slight miscalculation could have dire effects, in this season of bleakness. Fear grips its fingers around my psyche while I entertain various complications of my walk, but I beat it down with false confidence and years of experience. I keep moving, but slowed by gusts which push me back and steal my strength. I battle onwards. I walk.