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The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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Boru: The cold winter is a curse on humanity

If hibernation was possible for the human species, I would pledge my loyalty to be the first in line always.

I don’t have the brain capacity to understand people who love winter. It baffles me how we get through every winter season, sane and alive. There is no winter that passes by without me tripping and falling on ice. The pain from the fall pierces through my skin to my bones. I shiver remembering it now.

I used to complain about the chilly air in the morning where I grew up, a tropical climate; compared to the Minnesota winter and below-30-degree weather, it humbles me. But not to a point where I convince myself that I should learn to adapt, because the truth is, I will never get used to the cold. I really hate winter and the cold, and everything that lurks in the dark with it.

I questioned myself time and again why our parents decided to bring us to Minnesota out of any other state where it doesn’t snow. Those states too have other disasters, but I would choose that over the cold. Turns out, my question was a concern of many other Africans from the earth’s equatorial. I was riding in an Uber early this month when my East African driver started to lament about the cold and asked me the same question: “Why did our parents bring us to Minnesota, to this cursed weather?”

I could only laugh because I knew the pain he was feeling. It is just impossible to ever get used to this. We are not polar bears who have a thick layer of blubber and two layers of fur to survive in the cold at a minus-50 degree temperature. We can’t roll around on the ice and not get frostbite. Heck, the thought of laying on snow to make a snow angel sounds mad to me.

I think this is a generational dilemma, especially in the immigrant community from countries where it doesn’t snow. Their children who are born here love the winter and the older people dread shoveling snow from their driveways to shoveling out your car and having to move it so it doesn’t get towed. I shake my head at children who put on their snow wear from head to toe and run around in the backyard trying to catch falling snow. The adult in me then sits on a rolling chair, rolled up in a blanket with a steaming cup of tea as I look out the window at the children playing as I contemplate leaving this godforsaken cold land.

The cold winter hurts physically and emotionally. How do you recover from that? But we seem to be surviving. Winter-lovers say, “Have something to look forward to” so that you can bear to live in it. There is really nothing to look forward to unless the desire to want to keep sleeping counts as one. Maybe layering up and getting “cozy” is what people look forward to. Another piece of advice I got is to “stop being cold.” I honestly don’t even get what this means. If there is an off and on button for feeling a certain way due to the temperature, please share.

What is there to like about not being able to feel your face at all? How about not being able to feel and use your fingers because you think they are about to fall off? Or how about the times your fingers become so red and swollen from all the blood rushing to them, to seeing your fingers turn blue as if the soul is leaving it any second? How about the time you didn’t have change for a bus and had to walk multiple blocks to the point where you couldn’t feel your toes, and had no choice but to go inside the first store you come across just to warm up and continue the miserable journey again?

No, no thank you. You will never be able to convince me to enjoy being in despair and constant pain. It is not happening at all. No wonder why the squirrels in our backyards just disappear in the winter. They are in a deep sleep and I would love to have that if my body could withstand it. I can’t even bring myself to have a love-hate relationship with winter. Maybe someday. Maybe.

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