The electricity hums in my limbs. Today it has even reached my fingertips, and everything looks askew, as it must have done to Kay in the story of the Snow Queen, after a fragment of glass from the devil’s mirror had lodged itself in his eye.
It was cold this morning, but not cold enough for my liking. I don’t want things to get warm and soft, it’s even worse then. Cold, white and bright, and very hard, is what suits me in winter, or even just cold and hard. Here everything turns to mud in the warm wet, and the wet comes into your body and weighs you down. It is a seasonal thing: a warm late spring day in January is an abomination; and last year we had midwinter at Easter and everyone was saying Merry Christmas, that was bad too, but not as bad as summer in January. I become like the White Witch who sees her perfect Narnian winter melting. They are ruining your winter, Madam, says the dwarf. I want the winter to come into my muscles and limbs, my organs too – my heart: freeze everything up and make it hard and impenetrable, allow nothing to swim around. I want to be glacier, hard as rock.
Last night I threw off the covers, hot. Not right in January, and everyone saying how lovely it is, now that the terrible cold has stopped, even though some also said that a cold snap was good for the earth, killed the bad things off and the potatoes would grow better this year. But mostly there was bitter complaint, oh isn’t it awful, this ghastly cold, can’t wait for it to stop, just horrible, can’t get warm. And outside the hoarfrost so radiant, the arms of the trees thick-feathered and brilliant. Let it be like this always, I said, and let the summer not come, or if it does let it be a short blip that we endure and let the rivers and lakes freeze so we can walk on them without falling into water.
The days become longer and ask for so much life. In my body, the bad weeds grow and multiply, all the small blooms choked before they have a chance. This year I am in the service of the White Witch and the Snow Queen. Will you harden your heart, they say, in return for what we bring? Ladies, I will, with great pleasure. Give me a pair of strong walking boots and a sledge, a coat made of bearskin, a bow and arrows. Put ice in my limbs. Turn my enemies to stone.