Winter in July

It feels strange to be cold in July. Not just a little bit cold, either, but freezing cold. The kind of cold that necessitates two pairs of socks + legwarmers + two pairs of tights under a knee-length skirt + knee-high leather boots + two undershirts + a sweater + a coat + a scarf + gloves just to make it through the morning.

This morning, as I walked toward the office building where I would meet with my first student of the day, I looked at the mountains ahead and thought about how beautiful they were. And it occurred to me that there’s also something beautiful about living in a place that is, in some ways, so different from what I’m used to. Or if not beautiful, at the very least thought-provoking.

This is one of the reasons I love extended travel: I love being able to see, feel, taste, smell, hear, and truly experience things in a way I’m not accustomed to, in some ways living the exact opposite of what has always been my “normal.” In the end, the concept of normal breaks down entirely.

That there is no normal is a truth many of us understand intellectually, but, for me at least, it’s a different, deeper, thing to actually experience everyday life in a way that puts this truth in front of me time and again… or, as in the case of the current cold snap in Santiago, not only in front of me but all around, right into my very bones.

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About Christine Ghattas

Christine Ghattas (Christine Bonnie Ghattas) is a teacher and artist from the United States. View all posts by Christine Ghattas

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