In cool memories of the North, I felt the cold crystals of winter through the padding of my snowsuit. I sat in the palm of snow, my head on a pillow of powder, cold and silver with the stars.
It was a world that belonged to me, cool without a shiver, icy without a shudder, and freezing without a bite. Mountain peaks were my creation, paths through frosty forests were cut with conquering determination, and towering fortress walls rose from the blanket of snow with the toiling of my shovel.
In the timeless evening, sometime late after supper, when the windows had turned to night and the warmth had turned to a certain coziness, I would leave the digital clock that spoke of the inner world and venture out into the winter night. I would prepare, bundling myself up with one piece of clothing after the next like an astronaut preparing to enter space.
And true enough, I would then pad out onto the icy silver of a lunar landscape with the vast starry sky brilliantly displayed overhead. The snow was a part of that night sky, and it soaked in the light from every star until it glistened and shone, until it was smooth and majestic like the passionate arches of the Northern Lights.
I would fall into the arms of the snow, and be held close by its soft embrace, raw and real as the freshness of the cold tingled through my snowsuit. The flakes would fall, playfully dipping and diving about my bare face, tickling my cheeks, melting upon my forehead, and gently touching my fluttering eyes.
Climbing from this perfect shape, I would trudge through the blanket of snow to the mountains and ridges that had formed. And then I would dig.
I would dig a cave into the mountain, pawing at the snow with my mitts and wriggling on my belly to burrow myself deeper and deeper into the underworld of winter. The silence within was impenetrable, and the darkness held me close as I worked to excavate and create a magical place of stillness, beauty, and comfort.
The cave would turn into a tunnel, and the tunnel would find itself growing into a cavern, and soon I would vanish from the starry night and be fully hidden beneath the blanket of winter.
When finally the cool kiss upon my cheeks had grown frosty, my hair had grown icy, and my wrists gone numb, I would return home accomplished and content.
The basement would welcome me with warmth, and I would shake myself from my gear, leave my boots in a puddle, and venture through the darkness toward the light and sound from above.
I would run up the stairs, light and free, to that cozy warmth, and I would leave that world of snow and ice and stars behind.
But still, to show where I had been, my eyes would continue to sparkle with the crystal stars of a winter night.