My Life with God


In our defense, it was a warm Autumn day.

In my defense, I had a jacket in the car, thinking I might need it.

Yet neither of us took a jacket with us as we walked toward and boarded the train. We even chuckled at the people who were carrying parkas. I saw a few who had used a vacuum bag to minimize space the bulky, unseasonable coats might consume.

Pshaw. I know it’s colder up the mountains, but how big of a difference could there possibly be?

At least I tolerate cold fairly well, but the expression on my friend’s face when we rounded a corner above the tree line and the arctic-level wind blew through the train…

All we could do in the moment was laugh. The cold nearly knocked the wind out of us. Tears ran down our cheeks, and we were surprised they didn’t freeze. Our train seatmates had coats—and the ability to raise the windows, but they didn’t. Instead they commented how we should have known better.

Thanks, neighbors. That’s really helpful in the moment.

After making a beeline for the building atop the mountain, we went separate ways—my friend in desperate need of coffee and me in search of a blanket for her on the way down. I was cold but starting to adjust a bit, perhaps primarily because I was finding the ridiculousness in the situation.

If you think time spent at the top would motivate people to put up the windows on the way down the mountain, you’re wrong. The parkas only emboldened people. It felt like a taunt or a finger wag. But we slowly started to warm, and before long, we were at the train station, and the air was warm. People peeled off their coats and packed them away. We enjoyed the pleasant heat.

We were on the same journey as others—on the same timeline and only feet from each other—but quite a few factors impacted our different experiences. I can’t say for sure whose experiences were better or worse, but I smile anytime I think of the beauty, intensity, discomfort, and joy in the journey. I made a journey with a best friend that day, and we endured some hilarious challenges.

We might have been wiser to prepare with parkas, but I like the memories of their absence much better. Because sometimes there is warmth in the chill.

1 thought on “Parka-Preparation”

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