It’s 7:30 and 20-degrees outside. The tips of the crinkly playground sand are white with a healthy layer of frost that makes the sand look like frothy waves in the sea. The children, kindergartners all, come timidly to the playground. Some bundled warm, others with unzipped hoodies and red noses.
I zip the coats one at a time while assuring them their mothers would want them warm. Some run off to play saying it isn’t cold outside, then come back only moments later with red-cold hands and faces, and asking me to zip their coats.
On this sunny day, our breath freezes in the air. The small patch of surviving grass on the playground is also blanketed in white frost. The children think it is snow. Some lay down thinking to make snow-angels, but none appear.
Then, as though it’s magnetized, they rush to the slide. It also wears a coat of frost. The children make a long line, waiting anxiously—hoping to get their turn before the frost melts. When they get to the top, they jump into place and zip to the bottom. White powder fluffs in the air as they fly from slide to sand and for one brief second the children pretend they are on the mountain, sledding.