Fog is lifting from the streets, and the sun begins to shine over the city. It’s 7:30 AM, and we are bundled in warm, athletic clothing for a walk. The air is chilled. The feeling of a million tiny icicles hanging low in the sky, making my skin tingle is refreshing. I breathe out, and I can see a puff of breath in front of me. As the sun rises and shines through the remaining fog, it casts a hazy pink glow across the town.
We walk briskly, keeping our hands warm one at a time in our pockets. I hold Sofie’s hand in one of my hands, adjusting her from side to side. Ben carries Henry in his bear suit. Hen sleeps soundly, not at all bothered by the cold, slightly wet air falling over his face. Traffic begins to pick up as we cross the streets, one after another. Cars whiz by, and I wonder how many people are back at work and how many are still working from home. I am warm where my jacket covers my body, but my legs, my neck, my head are chilled.
Finally, we make it to our destination, the donut shop. We order our usual 6 donuts, knowing full and well that we will only eat a total of four. Sofie gets her typical blue and green sprinkle cake donut. Ben goes for the old-fashioned and the apple fritter, I am a sucker for plain glaze, cream-filled and a warm sausage and cheese roll. Then they hand us our lattes. The warm coffee is perfectly sweet but not too sweet. It’s warm between my hands, and the steam rises up under my chin.
We walk back home. The sun is now high in the sky. The town that was sleeping as we left our apartment is now fully awake. Our donuts are ready to be devoured before we go about our daily routine.
This little ritual of getting donuts randomly after a horrible night is not really about the donuts. It’s about the act, the journey. It’s about the walking together in the cold weather and having a little treat at the end.