There’s a poetry in seeing the sunrise at -36 degrees Celsius. You feel like a lonely explorer, out in the wilderness, brave and hardy. The wind swipes at your legs, conspiring with the thin, slick layer of snow to make you lose your purchase. It’s too cold even for birds. The cold makes planes flying overhead sound like they’re cutting through Styrofoam. The air itself looks blue and magical. Everything gleams vividly, and you are alone to experience it, a solitary survivor of some climatic apocalypse.
The irony is that, ensconced in two pairs of pants, double layers of socks, mittens over gloves, a mille-feuilles of undershirt/shirt/cardigan/Thinsulate lining/ankle-length coat, hat, hood, scarf and Kodiak boots, I feel cozier than I have in weeks, shivering through my house in Pashmina shawls and slippers. Except for the sliver of exposed skin around my eyes, every part of me is hugged in warmth. At least for the first 25 minutes. Then, I start to feel a hint of the wind on my skin like a whisper. It says: don’t flirt with me too long, my friend. I’ll lull you into a sleep so sweet you’ll never wake up.