Tonight the wind ushered me home.
I stepped out into the night and was
thrust into a revelation:
I would not be taking the bus,
I would walk.
It’s been freezing again so
I donned a hefty under-layer this morning
and was glad to see I met
the bitter cold like an equal.
Imagine my joy when I realized at 9:20 pm
the air had warmed slightly and,
despite the fine mist coming down,
I felt in my bones a need to roam.
I selected a dramatically joyful playlist and
then directed my attention
back to the glory of my solitude.
I was toasty under all my clothes:
the leggings and jeans, the tall boots with thick socks, the two sweaters,
my coat, and scarf.
The gloves and hat stayed tucked away.
The wind gently brushed my cheeks like a whispered secret while I moved north
under a thick gray sky.
Most stores were shuttered
for the night or forever,
no shortage of uncertainty in sight.
But in a world threatening to buckle
under its own weight
my walk is a pilgrimage,
a determined pursuit of delight
on the longest night of the year.
Looking up, I spotted warm yellow windows
into other people’s little lives.
“I hope they’re happy,” I thought feeling
so little and snug myself
I passed dog walkers, couples on dates,
two fruit stalls, and a glorious
block flanked by pine trees.
I inhaled as deeply as I could again and again, listening to Leonard Cohen’s “Memories.”
Of those I have a lot, but on this eve in question, I have nothing to do with past or future, only the intimate cloak of a relentless
New York night, dewy and sparkling and full.