A few nights ago, snow was still on the ground; it was bitterly cold and a thin layer of ice covered the snow, making it sparkle. I thought about how much I have complained lately about the cold, about how I feel I will never be warm again, about how I almost burn my skin in the shower because I need the heat on my body if only for a moment. The ground sparkled, the way dresses and twinkle lights imitate. The harsh cold created something that made me feel hopeful and then I realized that it was ice, slick and deceptive ice. I walked carefully, aware that I might slip and fall at any moment. I keep thinking about how appropriate this moment is as a metaphor for so many things. The whole: "All that glitters is not gold" idea.

In some ways I'm disappointed that the sparkle was created by dangerous winter ice. I remember as a kid in Alabama being fascinated by icicles. Later as an adult in Illinois, realizing the threat they often pose I was sad because my romantic notions of snow, of winter quite literally shattered. My mother recently told me that I fit in better "up there". She thinks of Illinois as "the north." I think she was trying to say something about technology, that the universities and students embrace it more here. I'm not sure she's right but that's her perception. She also thinks my personality is more aligned with Midwesterners. I don't know what that means but I think it means she thinks I'm shiny, like the glittering ice.