It’s a fierce day today.

There’s an aggressiveness to everything about it. At 8 a.m. the temperature was minus 32 Celcius. By noon it had warmed up to minus 27. There’s a saving grace: there’s hardly any wind at all. Had there been, I wouldn’t have gone for my walk. As it was, I kept that walk to just thirty minutes.

The cold is tolerable, if one is dressed appropriately. The air is sharp, like cut glass, the frozen ground under foot so hard it’s difficult to imagine it otherwise. The sky is a brilliant blue, stunningly gorgeous, so vivid, so present you feel as if you could reach up, grab hold and pull it closer.

But it’s the sun that truly defines the ferocity of this day. The sun shines without apology, blindingly reflecting off the ever-surrounding whiteness of snow, exuding a warmth you can feel if you can bear to stand and face it in the cold long enough. If you do, if you can, you close your eyes, raise your chin, and smile up at it. For a moment, you forget how cold it really is. You forget how difficult, how trying life can be. How alone being alone can feel. You forget you were ever hurt, or are capable of hurt.

The warmth of that faraway ball of fire touches off a chord of fierceness within yourself.

Alive, it says. You are alive.