Cold Days and Warm Memories


Just when I think that summer is here, the cold is biting again.  Yes, I know I keep moaning about the cold.  You’d think by now I’d be used to it.  Most of the time actually, I am.  But there are days when it seeps through your bones and stays there.  And the past few days have been like that – It feels like you have a perpetual chill.  It is chilly, as opposed to freezing.  It’s the breeze from the Atlantic that makes it cold.  At night, the wind howls like a wounded animal.  T said to me this morning, I’m scared of the wind Mommy.  I don’t blame her, sometimes it scares me too, I imagine the roof being ripped off from our house.  But this is Cornwall, not Oklahoma (my prayers are with the families affected by the recent tornado), and nothing like that happens here.

Some days I want to run away from the cold.  I long for the heat of the sun.  Instead I dive down deep within the recesses of my mind and unearth some memories…

Here I am standing under the heat of the African sun, while waiting for a shared-taxi on a dusty road in Tamale, Ghana.  The sun is high up in the sky, in full force with all its glory.  Its heat grazes my skin, I feel beads of sweat appearing on my forehead now and feel my white top begin to cling on my back.  I squint through the heat and try to hail a passing taxi, but it is full.  After a few minutes, one stops in front of me and I say to the driver “Al Haji Sumani Mosque?”  He nods.  I squeeze in beside a woman and her baby who is clasped on her back and two other men.  We give each other a weary smile.

Here’s another one:  This time I am a child, around ten perhaps and together with my cousins, we are lying on the roof in my maternal grandparents house by the side of the railroad.  It is summer and very hot.  Occasionally a breeze would blow, an older cousin tells me “Whistle Inge, the wind will only come if you whistle”.  So I try to whistle, but my attempts are pathetic and my cousins laugh. It is warm, but we are happy and later, we will all go down into the kitchen and there will be cold drinks and snacks waiting for us.  But of course, none of that is happening right now.  My hands are cold as I type on the bed with my mac on my lap and legs seeking warmth under the duvet.  I can hear the wind, ominous and over-bearing I actually want to scream for it to stop.

If you look outside our kitchen window you will see this:


A short trellis of beautiful white flowers, looking at the picture now I feel a shadow of a smile form on my face.  Those flowers reminds me of a promise that summer is indeed coming.  My hands are cold … my husband offers me a mug of hot tea, which I gratefully accept and know that it will warm me even for awhile.


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