In all honesty, I detest the cold. The idea of a warm cup of coffee, a good book and a blanket on a winter morning is a nice one, but the reality of the concept is of the opposite nature. However romantic the idea, the intentions behind it are to retreat from the frigid outdoors. Why people look forward to the winter months is contrary to me in this way. Besides the holidays and occasional snow, I attempt to stay preoccupied with the thoughts of summer and the warmth and vitality it brings with it. After this most recent cold front that froze the South, I am anxiously awaiting the brown to fade to green, the flowers to bloom, and the day I don’t have to wear three layers of clothing to go to the store.
I shiver frantically as the freezing wind grazes my hands and face as I walk about downtown. As I shiver and silently curse the cold, I find myself reminiscing on the activities I relish most during the months of summer. I love to skate. My instrument of travel is not a conventional skateboard, but a longboard. This is essentially a surfboard on wheels. No tricks can be performed, only a ride. Cruising while listening to my favorite music is a favorite activity of mine. I get on a concrete path, get on my board and push off. The warm air around me turns to a pleasantly cool breeze as I am brought to motion by the board. My hair flies back, and my shirt wraps around my torso as I roll down the path, occasionally motivated to accelerate by my own push.
I am ripped from my thoughts as I bump my hand on a nearby object. The pain is far worse than it normally would be due to winter’s wanton cruelty. I continue my gait, and I stop momentarily to admire the Oostanaula River. Looking at the rippling of the river as it travels, I cannot help but continue to recall another sweet memory of mine. The motion of the ocean water. My true joie de vivre is on the beach. Laying in the sand, feeling the intense heat beating down on my skin, unrelenting. My only reprieve from the heat is the cool water in front of me. The ocean’s waves beckon me to relax in its chaotic embrace. I refrain, soaking up the sun until it is physically unbearable. After a small time, I break and plunge into the ocean. I relish in its cold relief. I stand in the waste deep water, pushing my hair back and wiping my face, and stare out in to the deeper ocean. I am filled with fascination as to how vast the ocean is. I relate this idea with how small I am. This feeling of awe would shrink the most arrogant of us. I am small in this world, I am a footprint in this beautiful world, I am almost insignificant in the idea of the whole.
A wave crashes into me, splashing salty water in my eyes and mouth. In disgust and pain, and the force of the wave, I fall backwards into the cold reality of the water around me. I stand, wipe my face, and spit out the salt water. I dive back in one last time before retreating to the shore to bask in the sun’s love.
As my feet hit the sand, I awake from my trance due to a cyclist ringing her bell to alarm me to move out of her way. I step toward the river, saddened I am not at the beach. The cold wind howls, and I escape to a nearby shop. In all honesty, I detest the cold.
Greyson Oswalt-Smith is a political science major at Kennesaw State University who plans on going to law school. He enjoys being politically involved locally, and serves on the Sara Hightower Board of Trustees. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.