Winter brings on various changes:
The weight of air grows heavy against skin. There is a challenge to skin’s texture. Pushes out the old, wants it to flake off in dry patches like the leaves falling away from the trees. Lotion may be used in copious quantities.
The cold causes closets to appear bare at times when all articles of clothing are worn at once. Base layer of tank top or cotton undershirt. Long sleeved something beneath sweater. Three scarves around neck twirled together like competing dancers. Two corduroy jackets beneath thicker one. Long underwear–a bit itchy at times–beneath pants held tighter to thighs by leg warmers. Two pairs of socks–one long and one short. Boots. Gloves. Hat.
Body is protected in many ways. By clothing and by…more body.
I am trying to get used to this new shape. My Winter shape. If this were mathematics class, I might refer to my body as the Mandelbrot Set: an extremly complex object which shows a new structure at all magnifications. I am bigger. Perhaps this is my way of hibernating inside my self. There are no arms exposed or hips peeking out from thin shirts. My legs nap beneath layers of pants. If I were the type of person to shave my legs, I would stop at this time. I feel my face growing from oval to heart shaped. My hour glass is filling in with sand and I feel boxier and broader.
Buttons plunge and attempt a run-away from fabric. Belts are not as necessary. Winter is filling me out and weighing me down.
Now, although there are moments of overwhelm and frustration, this is not about wanting out of this body. (There is a sense of wanting out but it is not connected to this)
When I look at humans, I notice their shape. I love the various ways in which bodies arrive at themselves. We are multiple choice answers, filled in with scribbles and overflow. This is good. This is real. In the summer, I am bonier but never skinny or thin or small. How wonderful to be like the leaves, changing with season.
So, I remain a little longer studying my nudity. Grab hold of my belly that is far more rebellious than its ever been. There is no six-pack or three-pack or one-pack. It is wavy and loose. But it is still mine.
My thighs speak out like rioting teenagers. They are strong beneath the fat and move a little longer than I do. Cellulite illuminates and it can sometimes be a struggle to feel empowered by these persistent dimples, but they are mine too.
There is more to touch and notice and I still want to be noticed.
Winter, I will do my best not to get angry at your bone-chilling air. I will search out ways to extinguish any insecurities I have with this expanding body, growing in order to create more warmth. I will become bilingual off this body, as it starts a new language: one with clicks and whistles and hard to reach syllabic slurs. Beautiful does not have to be limited to small things, to smooth things, to sculpted angles of skinny. Beauty can be illuminated through folds and twists and turns and who knows how this body will end? It is unpredictable, which is far more exciting. Don’t you think?