As I write this I am wearing leggings, cotton yoga pants, wool socks, a long underwear shirt, a wool knit sweat, a fleece jacket, a scarf and a stocking hat. I am downing steaming hot chocolate and listening to Louis Prima.
Moments before I was rushing through the village. All the usual chatting bo-me and bo-ntate were nowhere to be found. The children’s sound of play was silenced. My red fingers clutched my drooping umbrella. The sky was still with fleck of white fluttering about. Winter has come.
I had wonder if the first snowfall would be a sweet remembrance of home, and there was a moment of nostalgia. Mostly, I was overcome with the cold’s beauty. The village was so quiet, everyone nestled under shelter near fires. The wind sang its howl and fire came to the rescue. With my warm beverage and candlelight, I feel very Henry David Thoreau like. Though, he probably didn’t use a MacBook to type “Walden.”
The next morning the mountains were perfectly dusted with white. it was the picture on a postcard from a place I used to only dream about. Now I live here.
We associate seasons by holidays, so it’s easy to get caught up in Christmas dreams, especially since I can’t train my thoughts not to wonder about the Festive season in 2013 when I will be reunited with my family. I’m tempted to turn on holiday music in honor of the snow, but I don’t. I stick to tracks with a mountain feeling. It’s somber here, but in a peaceful way.
The new season brings hopes as fresh as the snow and I’m nearly excited to experience my first winter in Lesotho. But what I appreciate the most about the cold is the break is requires. So many times in my 8-till whenever the work was done, I dreamt of running off to the mountains. I could write. I could curl up with a book and a blanket. I could stare at the world from my window and journal. Lesotho’s winter has given me the chance.
Sure, I have plenty to do in the two months school is closed, but when Mother Nature tells me to stay inside I will obey. I will stop, listen to the wind and see the beauty of winter more than I ever did.