January cold is of a different tang than the rosy-cheeked chill of December. January is deep and black and biting. In January, the soul huddles deep inside the chest, just as the body buries itself in swaths of cloth, and crouches there, unsleeping, and waits.
January burns. It ravages my fingers and face and toes until even lukewarm water makes me scream. And I rage within the darkness, still alive beneath its crushing inexorability: why must it hurt so deeply, for so long? Why isn't it over yet?
And yet I know I need it, for I am winter-born. There is no growth without the dark to give it strength. Thirteen years of tepid seasons, autumn slinking into spring, leave the nauseous taste of rot upon my tongue. The world is all browns and grays and boredom. There is no bite of agonizing, fierce, bone-deep, life-affirming cold to make me want to fight my way to freedom. Until now.
I grit my teeth and wait, defiant. The cold will last and last, but I can last longer. I am winter-born.