The sky is grim, the clouds are dark as bruises, everything is shades of gray and gloom and ice and dim, everything is muted, and there are no signs of life, the animals are gone, there are no birds singing, everything is still.
The wind suddenly begins to howl, and I look down from my balcony as someone opens the back door of our building, it is as if the wind has taken immediate offense to their presence, and instead of dying down, it actually seems to increase in pitch and rage when they make it to their car and slam the door shut behind them.
I know how quiet it is inside the car, they are fumbling in their coats for their keys in a cloud of their own breath, even though I can't see them through the crystal patterns of ice on their windshield.
I hear the electronics wail and their engine struggles to life and goes quiet, and though I can't hear it, I know they are turning on their radio, they are thinking that perhaps sound can make things warmer while they wait for their car to heat up, and regardless of whether that is true or not, they'd rather have the company of the radio than the company of the wind whistling around and against their vehicle.
The hateful wind continues for a moment, as if it doesn't recognize that its prey has escaped, so as not to betray its sentience to the human trapped in the car, and then it withdraws, resuming its circular heat-seeking hunting pattern, and everything seems to be still again.
I'm about to let my curtain fall away, let it shield me from all this grim business outside, there is nothing more to see, and I can hear that I am nearing the moment when I will sip at my first steaming hot cup of coffee and have my first smoke, the coffee machine in the kitchen behind me is rattling, it is almost done brewing.
But I wait a moment.
And that is the moment when the sun finally burns through the last of its enemy's wounded defenses, raining down and breaking against the cold gray shore of the earth, the morning swells with its brightness as if the curtains to heaven have been drawn aside, the silver and ice ignites and becomes shining rivers of liquid gold below us, and I am there to bear witness to its victory, I am there to share its warmth and welcome it home.
I don't even notice that I am smiling until I turn away.
And I know that the great wheels beneath the earth are now awakening in showers of rust, they are beginning to turn again, the ice will melt to water, the water will run to rivers and oceans, the water will rise up to meet the sun through the roots of green and growing things, even though I can not see them.
And man, this coffee tastes really good.