Winter warmth.

felicia chiao young adult old soul magic realism writing
Art by: Felicia Chiao

It’s officially linger-in-the-shower weather.

Huddle under your blanket weather and watch the rain pelting, the raindrops racing down the window pane. It is the time for deep sleep, for storing warmth and creating it, luxuriating in its feel, letting it curl deep in your belly as it comforts some deep ache, erases some old pain.

I am not usually one for hot beverages; I was never quite in love with tea like everyone else in my country seems to be and didn’t care much for coffee growing up.

But lately, I have been brewing myself a simple little pleasure, if only to watch the clouds of water vapour curl elegantly in the air. I try to remember the liberal turns these vapours take so that I may trace them later on paper, in one sketch or another.

The warmth of a honey-lemon infusion is grounding between my palms and the liquid gently sloshes in my mug, catching the light, refracting it. I could stay for hours doing this: pouring dollops of golden flower honey into a well-loved mug, then going in for a moment of real-life magic, the kind that involves no prestidigitation, no sleight of hand. I pour a little bit of steaming water from the kettle. Then, gently, I swish the contents around, watching with bated breath as a golden pattern emerges, one resembling the hives in which the honey was made. Of course, that’s not quite exact, but a girl can dream. I dream that with a flick of a wrist, the swirl of some water, secrets are revealed to me, deciphered under my eyes during a performance set in golden tones, under pale sunlight. There is a world at the bottom of my mug, a door opened to me, unlocked with a piece of secret knowledge.

It is such a shame to have to lose all that, to have to stir the honey in. Nonetheless, when I’ve had my fill of this visual spectacle, I squeeze in some fresh, fragrant lime or lemon juice, allowing myself to enjoy the sound of the mug filling up. Then I stir until I obtain a honeyed drink in taste and colour both.

My hands wound almost too soon around the porcelain mug, leaving my palms stinging and a little bit red, but the comfort is so real. So potent. It settles some profound part of me, slows down the thoughts running abuzz, brings my whole body to a lull as anxiety fizzles out.

It’s a moment but also a state of being, a sort of permanence where all the stray bits of my disarrayed self align. Then, I can exhale, deep from my lungs, even deeper yet, from the place where all my anxieties lie and all my fears lay in wait.

So, as odd as this sounds, I’m a little bit grateful for the cold that gives life to so much warmth.

Note: I hope you are all doing very well and keeping safe ❤️ And you can try out the honey trick for yourself, it definitely works! But it also works with other substances having the same kind of viscosity, so even if it’s pretty to imagine it’s a honey-exclusive phenomenon, it’s not lol. Them’s the facts 😂

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2 thoughts on “Winter warmth.”

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