A decade in Georgia had not prepared either of us for our first winter in Indiana. I am a lifelong Southerner: raised in Texas, an undergraduate in North Carolina, a decade in Atlanta. I’ve done shorter stints in South Carolina, the Rio Grande Valley, and in an assortment of Latin American countries, most of them tropical. But I regarded the Midwest, especially the Midwest in winter, as a foreign land. On that day in January, I went for a walk out of a mixture of wonderment, curiosity, and a sort of religious horror. What did 13 degrees below zero feel like? What was it like to walk in a wind chill of -40? You may as well have asked me what transcendence felt like, or justice, or perfect love. The air outside my door was an abstraction that I could suddenly feel with my skin, a new idea in which I could, literally, take a walk. It’s not often you get that chance.
“Indiana Winter, Take One” in Topology Magazine