Monday, January 25, 2010


I always feel this way.  Maybe it's Seasonal Affective Disorder, or whatever they want to call it, but really it's the winter.  The time when you must stay in, turn inward, examine what you've learned, hunker down to ride out the cold and think about what has come to pass.  Our ancestors used this time to make things that would be necessary for the coming year- knitting or weaving, sewing, carving, blacksmithing, anything that you could do to keep your hands busy and be productive and useful.  Still, you turn your thoughts in, and that can be hard. 

It's snowing.  I've waited for days for this, because snow makes winter worth it.  I couldn't live somewhere that was cold and barren and yielded no snow.  That is cruelty; that was Columbus.  Cold, naked, bare and covered in ice.  Ice!  How horrible. Snow, though; thick, fluffy, pure white.  It makes a special sussurus as it falls.  That's hard to hear where there is so much population and cars, but if you get yourself out into the middle of a winter wood you can hear the snow fall.  It makes me feel quiet, wonderous and connected to the magic of all things. 

Still, despite snow, I get quiet and withdrawn in winter.  I suppose it's natural, or it's S.A.D. as I've said before.  It doesn't matter; what it means is that I bundle up, hunker down, and turn inward.  This year I've taken to sitting quietly and knitting my heart out.  That helped a little.  My wonderful man took to reading aloud to me as miles of cloth wound out from my hands.  That made things absolutely wonderful.  Then we got me a beautiful Tiffany lamp with a full spectrum light and well!  What do you know; I can see the projects so clearly and it does seem to truly help. 

Winter makes me inward, and wistful.  I know better than to long for spring, because that is a wasted effort.  Spring will come as it always does, at around the same time.  This year we are looking forward to crocus and daffodil bulbs we put in the garden out front.  Still, it is wistfulness and loneliness- a thing made more bearable by the family of the man and critters I have around me.  It is something I am, something I do- perhaps now that I am not in my 20s anymore I can learn to accept that this is what the dark and cold bring.  Stop fighting against my nature so much and just do the things that bring me peacefulness and light; stop feeling I have a "problem" and just nurture what is needful in the winter months.  So I like to be still and quiet.  That is just how it is; give it tea, and light, and lots of yarn then, and let it be. 

Sometimes I think about the skewed version of happiness that people long for in this country, fed to them by media in popular shows and films.  Happiness in that regard is perfection, with broad smiles and ecstatic high energy life.  Well, when I see that I know that this sort of output can't last forever, it's too exhausting.  Then when it winds itself out people feel disillusioned and let down (perhaps this explains the high divorce rate?)  Have people forgotten that happeness comes in many levels?  That yes, the ecstacy of success or reunion or new love is incredibly elating, but that's not the only way?  Happiness is not struggling to survive.  It is having a full belly and feeling content.  Just content.  Being safe, warm, with your needs met, and good people around.  That is also happiness: not wanting for anything.

Am I happy, then?  Yes.  I am happy.  I am content, rather.  Perfectly so.  Would I care to improve upon it?  Most definitely; I crave a variety in friendships, other activities I enjoy that I cannot do right now, and so forth.  That would bring me more or different happiness, different levels.  So wisely, sagely and gracefully I will accept that for what I have and where I am, I am pretty damn content.  And happy.

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