There’s a drag that comes from lack of sunlight. That’s for real, and the lure of sleeping in on a winter morning is a real temptation.
I’m not a morning person. We know who we are. Years ago, I was in a carpool with a woman who was a morning person. I’m not sure she ever stopped talking for the entire ride into work. It worked out fine. She didn’t seem to mind that no one responded. Other than her and the driver, everyone else in the car was asleep.
This is how it works with me. I open my eyes, and even before the sleep fog clears, a whole litany of unwelcome thoughts line up for attention. Really…can’t I just get some coffee or OJ?
The thought that wakes us at 3 am feels like a heart-thumping immediate crisis. What if there’s a new killer COVID variant? At 8 am, it’s not quite as dramatic, more like a mental listing of every conceivable worry and bad outcome I might need to deal with that day, or anytime in the next six months, or the next six years.
So how does this relate to winter? In the winter, I wake and the sun’s shining through the shades, or it’s not, and either way it’s something to be happy about. Well, maybe not happy, but relieved. It’s something like the winter clause. I have good reason, loosely based on science or nature, to postpone, to hesitate, or to give in. To succumb, to hold back, put off, delay, and dispense, everything I don’t want to deal with, in effect and with great affection, on the pretext that it’s winter.
January’s a fresh start. It’s also a cold, unembellished, minimalist reality.
Branches stretch tall in a cold winter sky. The way they’ve always done. Like some fabulously strong declaratory sentence.
Sometimes those trees come down. I’ve seen them come down, and that’s a sad day. But when I look out, I see strength. The ancient strength of magnificent trees who throw all caution to the wind and stand between me and the heavens. As is their way.
Life comes down to microseconds. Minutes, hours, seasons. Ordinary time. Weekdays, weekends. Occasions that come and go, and events that don’t seem consequential. It’s a blink. An instant we bring something special, something that breathes life into us. The marrow of our life blood. The sum and substance of our existence.
It was the posture of Princess Leia. She stooped and reached toward R2D2. Then she turned the dial and recorded her desperate message. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.
Two young girls, maybe first-graders, stood at the edge of the sidewalk, facing a small wooden fence post. Their heads close together, both leaning in to look closely at something on the fence post. The girls seemed to be on the way to school, and other kids and parents were on the move in the area too, on the sidewalks and streets. I drove slowly, as my timing and the situation warranted, and saw the girls there, on the sidewalk. What were they studying?
I came to a traffic stop near where they huddled. What could be so fascinating?
Ahh, of course. Someone had tacked a placard there. It was a have you seen my kitty flyer, with a big picture of the kitty.
I drove on, and they hadn’t moved at all. I’m not sure they were old enough to read, but they were still stooped and studying that flyer.
~~~~~ Photo’s from a different fence post on a different day.