I’m going inside.
The cold means an internal and an external “turning within” – to fire and hearth, to bundles of scarves and wool. There’s a subtle tenseness to the skin, as we turn towards our innermost thoughts.
Good thing I’ve made inside of myself a safe place to be.
The first cold we feel is the crisp, too-cool air in the plane. I’m seated in an aisle seat somewhere above the Sahara by night as we move from South to North.
It makes the skin turn inside itself searching for the warmth of the pumping veins.
The Heart is first and foremost an instrument of survival.
It’s a sensation I had forgotten. This crawling of cold on skin.
It is familiar,
there is a newness in this re-experience of the bite.
I choose to welcome it. Explore its layers.
Finding solace in an involuntarily pumping organ distributing warmth throughout the body.
The end of my nose had not been cold in many moons.
I hesitate to make my next request, but I don’t hesitate for long.
Hot tea and a blanket please.
The warm liquid and the covers wrapped close help the cold nose, and overall, the situation. I push my body deeper into the seat.
One needs to ease the tropically adapted self back into Northern realities.
“We are not born in Africa, Africa is born in us.”
I’ve heard this before.
The fire that burns through my veins today is not the same as years before.
It is fueled by the human, sun warmth of the dark continent where bodies relax, sink closer to the Earth and ease into each other.
This mighty talisman is the gift I carry out of that life school of several years of patient studies. There are no certificates given, no external accolades.
…but it’s towards this light that my skin turns inward now to seek nourishment from this far deeper layer of warmth. The only warmth that can soothe right up to the soul.
I find that my blood serves me better now that it is connected to the very cradle of life. It pumps my True North.