I flew from Miami, FL to Cleveland, OH on January 2nd for my 3rd Ph.D. residency which is being held at the Mets Center in Erlanger, KY. My friend and fellow cohorter, Kathy lives in Cleveland, and I flew into her town to help her drive down the icy, snowy weather. Mind you, I’ve never driven in the snow; in fact, I had only seen and experienced this weather once in Novemeber 2012 when I attended the Haitian Studies Association conference in New York the previous year. You can imagine that I was both scared, stressed out and upon arriving and putting on the remaining clothes in my little carry-on luggage, COLD!

It was 11 degrees when I arrived to Cleveland. Nevermind the beautiful barren trees covered in white snow! Nevermind her lovely home, peacefully situated in front of an enchanting forest of snow-capped trees; nevermind her tastefully decorated home, beautiful family and the delicious spaghetti dinner she treated me to. It was COLD!

With the absence of sun and the continuous storm, I felt myself begin to fall into a generative depression. It doesn’t mean that I’m not a happy person; it means that I found myself really missing my 78 degree weather and my warm children, and my hot kitchen, and my humid backyard, and my sweltering streets of Miami.

Deciding that I would be grateful for the experience, I took another look. I took a deep breath and reminded myself why I was there. I was there for a dear friend who deserved my time. And she would do the same for me…and she is lovely and so hospitable. I was happy to be there with her and with the warmth of her kindness and love, I was warm. I felt good. I was calm. And truth be told, there’s something very calming about the auspicious dark woods, covered in snow, with its ground white and unadultered; and in its innocence, I found peace and a willingness to be flexible.

Yes, I can live anywhere because I am flexible.

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