Tuesday, December 30, 2008

goodbye, my lover

oak grove branches

I might be about to insult your musical tastes. I can't apologize, though, because making fun of that James Blunt song is such a running schtick around my house, between my husband and me, that I have chosen to believe it's just as funny to everyone. A couple of years ago, we happened, randomly and accidentally, on both the original airing and the rebroadcast of that song being performed on Saturday Night Live. And I swear there was another airing there, too. It seemed like any time we turned on the television there for a while, there was James Blunt crooning in falsetto. And maybe because it was as a musical guest on a sketch comedy show that I first heard the song, but I really did think it was a joke. It seemed so sappy and put on and really?

I mentioned elsewhere the other day that the recent local strange weather experience was so intense and now it's so *gone* it's a little, perhaps, like a quick, sultry love affair. So all-consuming while it lasts, but it never lasts.

We had 2 feet of snow on the ground, coinciding with Christmas, resulting in a subdued and strange holiday. It was beautiful, it was rare, it was eerie and odd and unsettling. I'm relieved for a return to normal, but I miss it. It's true.

The world sounded like cotton in my ears and everything was a little softer, glittering, hiding the ugly sharp edges. And from inside, watching the flakes fall, admiring the fluff covering every surface, was a wonder. Snow is magic. But we are ill-prepared, in this part of the country, for such a storm. And I worried for those lacking power, for those running out of food. We stayed warm and toasty, a fire, electricity, wool socks. I admit, though, that I am not accustomed to, and do not care for, the process of girding oneself against nature. It's so unusual here. It gets cold here in the Pacific Northwest, but not so cold where you feel this visceral response to the chill, this basic need to cover up to survive. The children suited up and it was such an event, the boots and the mittens and the coats. A hassle we have the luxury of living without, to that degree, almost always.

It was fun, though. There was a snow cave and so much shoveling and snowballs and angels and snow eaten w/ honey and molasses and pants drying by the fire and the amazement of seeing the flakes illuminated at night in the streetlight (that's my favorite thing, to see a tiny snowflake all lit up and then think how many of those tiny flakes it must take to make such drifts and piles everywhere).

It was such a huge part of our days there for a while -it was the only part of our days- so much that I didn't travel beyond our yard for long stretches, that we missed a few days of mail delivery. It was a big deal. And then the rain came back and the temperature rose and all of it melted. We have one last sad lump, the remains of my girl's snow cave, but everything else is gone. Was it really here? Did we really live so differently for a while?

Today I finally removed the Christmas tree from the living room to the driveway. I tasked the ornament packing-away to my daughter, but unwound the lights myself, generally a chore I dislike. But it was pleasant work. The tree, still so soft and supple and fragrant, I almost felt guilty taking it down. Christmas is over. It's time to say good-bye. I'm generally in such a hurry to pack it up and get it over with, but I took my time this year. We lowered the bar this time around and I have to say, it's nice having very low expectations because it's easy to exceed them. I didn't feel so desperate to be done with it, because it wasn't, in spite of all the reasons it ought to have been, a huge disappointment. It was a lovely day, with family and then friends. It was a rare weather experience, it was being warm and having full bellies, it was nothing spectacular, it was spectacularly plain, it was plainly just fine.

I'm ready for the coming of the sun, for the gradual increase to my days. I am grateful for these changing seasons, the better to remember life by, a measure of gauging our own rhythms. We're already moving on, the white was so quickly replaced by the regular green -such green!- and it's hard to be anywhere but right here, right now, taking whatever comes as best as we can.

1 comment:

Tonia said...

The last sentence of the last paragraph sums things up so well for me too! -tonia