One afternoon a few weeks back, sunny, crisp, below freezing, I was on the edge of Prospect Park in Brooklyn, about a mile from home. It felt like the first time I'd been out in the sun in days, after it snowed, and snowed, and snowed again. The frozen piles on the city sidewalks were grey with dirt and yellow with dog pee, but the path leading into the park was clear and lined with white.
I put in my earbuds and pressed play.
“It's cold, so let's go outside,” I heard Josie Holtzman say. “Find somewhere you can walk uninterrupted for about seven minutes -- anywhere that you can just walk and think. So bundle up and I'll wait for you outside.”
I was bundled: warm socks, winter boots, poofy Patagonia vest under wool coat, hat, mittens, and a scarf (or, really, almost a blanket) that's made from llama wool and is so, so warm. Minus the vest, which was an extra concession to the cold, this has been my get-up almost every day this winter. It's been a cold one here.
“Outside?” Holtzman asked. “Good.”
This was “The Walk,” one of the “soundwalks” of Winters Past, an audio project that can make you hear and remember that winter is changing. That this season has been cold -- but not so cold that in years past it would have been anything remarkable. That we're already forgetting what winter was.