The Comforting Place in Winter

I wake up in the morning and am hit with the aroma of Folgers coffee. Sometimes, mom would be cooking also mixing the scent of eggs and bacon in with my senses. The cats are running up and down the halls making as much noise as they possibly can to wake up my sibling. As per usual, I get up, fold my blankets, and walk to the door to slip on rubber boots.

The beams of the sun make the snow glitter and make it seem like a magical place being introduced in a movie. The slight breeze can already be felt and my skin reacts with goosebumps. I can hear the cries of the sheep and goats waiting for their meal and the nicker of the horses waiting for the same thing. The dogs wag their tails and beg for affection and a treat. After situating the animals for the morning, it is time to go back inside the house and eat the breakfast that my mom prepared for the family.

The day then continues as my mom and dad head into the nearest border town, while me and my sister saddle up the horses to go check on the other animals that are out grazing. The cold winter breeze hits my skin again even though I am wearing layers of clothing and jackets to keep me warm. We ride around enjoying the scenery and have a laugh getting off the horse because our legs feel limp and a little numb from the cold.

Finally, the sweet comforting feeling of cleaning out the stove and using the morning’s charcoal to rebuild a fire is soothing to my senses and my cold skin from the day outside. As day slowly progresses and begins to turn to night, I begin helping my mother cook dinner and the family sits around the table ready to pray for the prepared food.

The night winds down as the television plays a game of NFL football and the house cats lay on the floor near the stove to get warm. Each of my family members do something different as we all have interests in separate hobbies. I decide to work on some homework or maybe work on a necklace.

When it is late into the night, we all prepare for bedtime and get our rest for the next day. As I lay in bed, I begin to think of the memories from the past and living with my grandma. I begin to think of how far I have come and the cold winter nights that we had up in the mountains where my grandma lived. Also, the teachings about food and how to cook certain things like frybread and learning her recipe for tamales. The memory of hearing my grandma work on a wool rug and the stew that would be cooking on the stove brings me comfort.  After I think of the memories, I begin to slowly shut my eyes and drift off to sleep.

Jeremy Begay is a student at Navajo Technical University.

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