We’re all doing it around here, slip, sidestep, slide, tiptoe, baby-step, baby-step, slide.
The hard part is the smile, the cold wind makes your teeth hurt and even when you’re back inside, safe and sound and all warmed up, you can’t shake the feeling of trapped.
Everything you say sounds like whining, even to those in the same boat as you.
And you know it’s silly to complain. In the grand scheme of things it’s not that bad, but somehow, you’re miserable all the same. So you accept this misery, work hard to embrace it, thinking you’ll hold on tight and wait it out. The light has changed, coming earlier and leaving later and the shape of shadows is shifting. You accept that there is, indeed, a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just hard to see because you’re snow-blind.
You make promises to yourself, today is the day I will get this and that and the other thing done, only to find yourself huddled next to the fire at four o’clock yet again with only knitting and reading in the forecast. And that’s not a bad thing, that’s never a bad thing, only you can’t concentrate, the words on the page keep sliding together and the yarn gets all tangled and you find yourself dreaming of flowers.
Two bunches of tulips this week, a salve for the soul, a symbol of promise, orange and yellow on a backdrop of grey that comes in more shades than you’d ever imagined.
Shoveling becomes your daily workout, snow up to your knees and even higher when it’s time to climb through the drifts to rake the roof again. Whoever thought you’d be spending your days like this, moving snow from one place to the other when you don’t even plan to leave the house? But it must be done and so you “do what you must do, and you do it well,” because Dylan usually knows what he’s talking about, and besides, if you don’t, the roof will leak.
You’re tired of complaining, and tired of being tired of complaining, but that seems to fall under the same category of must be done. You try to keep it to yourself because no one wants to hear it, but heavy sighs and curse words keep escaping from between your severely-chapped lips. You’ve already used a large vat of lotion, your skin sucking it up faster than you can apply it, because you cannot quench the thirst of winter.
In between all of this, you laugh, or cackle, sometimes a bit too loud, too hard, or at almost nothing at all, because this, all of this, is what stir-crazy sounds like.
And it just keeps whirling around in this tiny square house, in the guise of a draft that won’t let you get warm.
The only thing you can do is write your way through it. On a good day, you can write yourself into a better mood. And then two-step yourself ‘cross the floor with a smirk on your face that would never cut it in public.
But it’s okay, because when you do go out, everyone you see wears the same shell-shocked grin. Which at first glance, looks like a grimace.
And February just keeps tapping her toes in time to a song only she can hear, pulling hard at those strings as we dance, dance, dance.