It struck me just now as I returned from a short walk with the dogs that during a cold winter when we’re so bundled up that only our eyes show, we hearers have a surprising similarity to the deaf.
As I walked back downhill toward home, the dogs caught sight of a neighbor boy heading home after the high school bus had dropped him off. The mutts raced toward him, legs and tails flying. He bent to say hello.
I got closer and all I could see of him were his eyes and glasses under layers of hat and scarf, coat and gloves, heavy boots, and day pack. I know that’s all he could see of me, too. We waved “hi,” since I don’t know sign language. But our conversation went like this under all the layers. Me: “hhg hjogey.” Him: “hguugh.” Me: “yghou cn thhroghg th bhah.” Him: “mghuum.” Me: “kh, shseegha.” Him: “bgahuh.”
Cold…the great equalizer.