May 30, 2017
I'm a claustrophobic kind of person. When I'm sleeping, I can't stand to have the blankets over my head; my own breath entrapped by the fabric, growing warmer and warmer each second I'm under. Even when I was younger, when the darkness brought the grim possibilities of beasts lurking outside my window or on the other side of my door cracked open just an inch or two, I couldn't bear the suffocating feeling of being completely surrounded by blankets.

The winter provokes a similar yet different kind of asphyxiation for me. No matter how much I exhale, the frigidness evanesces more warmth than I can desperately try to create on my own, and my breath is overwhelmed, not by the heat but rather the cold. My heart, too, is suffocated by the winter. I long for the summer; the smell of fresh air that doesn't sting your nose with cold, the feeling of smooth gusts of wind on a hot day. I ache for the sun on my skin, it's light enveloping me, for the soft itchy touch of grass on my feet, and most of all I yearn for the ability to be a outside, where everything is alive, where we humans were meant to be.

This is where my dilemma lies. My lungs are stolen of their breath and my heart of its beat when I imagine continuing to inhabit a place where my soul is suffocated for so long. But my home is where every year the leafs perish in a blaze of color so breath takingly sublime that you forget that the trees are succumbing to the frost, and that this flame is their last rebellion. My home is where the winter winds whisk, the diaphanous wastes of frigid flakes flourish, and where my time of constantly being indoors-though only for a four months- seems ceaseless. My home is where when life returns to the land, it returns with blossoms so unabashedly beautiful you would have never imagined it came after such a desolate span. And above all, my home is where my family is. They breathe in me that which the chill steals from my spirit, that which nature cannot give me back, that which anchors me to the place of gut wrenching grief, in the love that springs from them.

Eventually I hope to free my head from beneath the blanket of snow that strangles me, however I must follow the voice of not only nature, but also of those who have guided me before.

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