Saturday, January 31, 2015


Does one hunger for air? Thirst for it? Whether it's a thirst or a hunger, I crave air. Specifically, cold air. I love the sting in my lungs on a winter run––it's why I always take off my neck warmer in the last 100m, to breath in the fresh air. Fresh air is why I like to wear tank tops when I ride a bike, to feel the air on my skin. I like everything that comes along with the cold. I like the goosebumps and the rosy cheeks, the tingling on my skin when I come back inside. I especially love it when I get fresh air before bed, when my cheeks are still cool as I lay down on my pillow.

Mostly, though, I love air because it gives me space. I get claustrophobic when I don't have enough room to breathe, to stretch. My friend told me that one of the hardest parts about college for her is the lack of space. She doesn't have room to stretch her limbs. She longs to just spread out her arms without hitting anything.

This past week, I had two beautiful open-air experiences. The first was on Sunday, before the big blizzard. My mom, stepdad and I ran around Walden Pond, lost in the snowy woods with the blue sky peaking through the trees. But the best part was the end of the run, when we emerged out from the woods onto the snow-covered lake, a great tundra in the middle of Concord, MA. So many times have I swam across that lake, but never have I run across it. And I just kept laughing, like I do when something is so great and somewhat unbelievable, the same kind of laugh I get in English class when my teacher or a classmate makes a particularly profound connection. There was just so much space on that lake. I felt like I do when I swim straight out at Skaket Beach on the Cape, into the horizon. This tundra is another place I will return to when I'm needing air.

And then there was Tuesday, the day of the blizzard. After a day spent inside, I was craving the air by 10:00pm. I went for a walk by myself around the neighborhood, trudging through the three feet of snow in my driveway. At some places, I couldn't even lift my feet. When I got to the end of the driveway, I had to practically climb over the pile of snow to get to the snowplowed street. Now on the plowed road, I skipped, ran, spun, and hummed at odd intervals. There was a driving ban because of the snow, and the snow had stopped falling awhile ago, so I didn't even have to worry about running into a plow. I threw my arms out and pranced in diagonals down the hill and then up it, my shadow lively in the streetlights. No one could see me. I had the world to myself. It was so remarkably freeing.

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