Saturday, June 20, 2009

Frost on the roof

Last week we had a frost. In Wellington. It's a little unusual, and just up the coast (where it's warmer, as a rule) they had snow. The edge of the sea froze in the Pauatahanui Inlet.

I love frost for nostalgic and sensuous reasons.

Scenes scramble like penguins up through a hole in the ice. I remember as a child waking to a gorgeous layer of crystallized ice on the windows. (Imagine a home that chilly. The horror, the horror.) Walking to school through brittle white grass that crunched underfoot. Jumping on frozen puddles, of course. Paddocks steaming as the thin morning sunshine floated between macrocarpa trees.

Being cold is not very comfortable, I suppose. But it can be exciting. It's not a coincidence that people shiver with excitement or shiver with sexual thrill. One of my early love poems has a couple of lines:

Shiver, man, shiver.
You move like a river.

I photographed my frosty roof. I couldn't help imagining touching it with bare fingers... Would the frost freeze my fingers to the roof and peel off a layer of skin? Or would the finger melt the frost? But the photo didn't work. You can't see its cold fur. You won't shiver.

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