In winter, they say, the best way to protect against the cold is to dress in layers. Coat on top of sweater, sweater on top of shirt, shirt on top of whatever else is holding up or pressing down everything underneath. Arctic winds themselves stand little chance against those criss-crossed fabrics and warmth-inducing twills.
That writers so often choose to employ some metaphorical winter to refocus our imagination back onto end-time things just feels right. Winter, after all, can easily shut down chaos, and movement, and even our final breaths.
Especially once spring has decided it no longer will follow.
But I think that we miss something altogether huge, altogether obvious, if we fail also to see that the very protections we layer in place over the years, layers designed to keep us from failure and rejection and pain, really only hasten winter’s sting while doing nothing to actually save us.
Sometimes, layers serve no purpose other than to hide ourselves, one from the other. And maybe from ourselves.
Even in the dead of winter.
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