The walls turned gray, and it was suddenly winter. The stove wood was behind the barn, an iron pyramid under the snow. I could feel the wind clawing through the porch screen, tearing and hissing, a bully and a braggart. It rattled the empty husks in an obscure, obscene rhythm. Great sheaves of cloud were falling closer, ever closer. There is no white in winter, said Jeremiah; it is all layered slate, dully chiseled, edged every which way. The weight, oh Lord, the weight of it all falling at once.
I felt the coldness cut into my hands, and then wrap around my throat. I was locked in my rooted flesh, flash frozen to the floor, the old comforts of warm summer linoleum and fancy spring tablecloths long passed. It was all gray, inside and throughout. All gray.
And then it wasn’t. It was summer. Of course it was summer. But for a moment it was not. And I wondered about the cruelty of a broken, arrogant heart.