Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I'm breaking one of my rules for blogging and commenting. I don't post stuff I write when I'm beat from one of my periodic insomnia cycles, and I don't post stuff I write when I have a headache.
But today I have a nasty pounding sinus headache and I'm posting anyway, not because there's anything terribly Deep to say but because this year is weird and so are my winter thoughts.
As a kid I'd say it could not get hot enough for me. That changed a couple decades ago, probably by means of my aging metabolism, but I still was not a Winter Person.
That may be changing. As years of attempts to get the kids attracted to the idea of moving to even a liberal, artsy southern area, have failed, our focus is changing. We're thinking on establishing ourselves back in NJ again, not at all soon, but in time.
When we lived there for 4 years I could NOT WAIT to be back in the south. This past summer seems to have dealt a death blow to my love of summer.
Obviously this past summer was emotionally hard, but the heat was so brutal that I'm not sure I wouldn't have turned against summer anyway after that one. Blazing heat, all day, every day, every errand and outing bracketed by having the life force sucked out of me by a searing hot car, a trek across broiling asphalt, and back again.
Winter has set in and has been as weirdly extreme as summer was. Ordinarily we get snow flurries maybe once every couple years. Snows like last February's are once-in-20-year things. This year we've had flurries with minor dusting three frikkin' times, including my birthday. The picture above is from the first one when it was still a novelty. I haven't bothered taking pictures since.
And in between - true set-in cold, cold that kept the little bit of snow accumulation around in crevices and shady patches for days. Winter Lite for a lot of climes, but nothing that life here is designed for. Cold barn of a house. Lots of static electric shocks, one of my least favorite things.
And I don't care. I like the winter. I think I could get rather into living somewhat farther north. Not way up, not to get buried for weeks and deal with snow in May. But someplace where a nice stretch of winter can stop my feeling that I should be accomplishing this or that. Weather that makes itself the dominant force of the day so that I forget the past and ignore the future and think only about layering, getting supplies in, and hunkering in my reading chair till dinner. I've never lost nostalgia for our wonderful Victorian NJ house, and feel like, if we could have the right house, comfortable, away from traffic noise, set up just the right way for our life, I could love the seasons.
There's a very good, but painful, novel called Deerskin, by Robin McKinley, about a woman cruelly abused and her hibernation-like healing through a long protective winter that cocoons her until she's ready to come back to life and kick some ass. There I am.
It's more of a current thought than a decision, and I know that processing this past year is a part of that and will keep moving forward. But as our future family life shifts north, it would certainly be useful if my feeling that winter can be a friend hung on. This year, it's my friend.