It is gray, gloomy, my mood matches what I see, another storm approaching wet, wintry, cold ice, it pushes my hopeful thoughts of Spring and red tulips further back in my exhausted brain. I long to paint my toes pink, to wear flip-flops that go clickety-clack on the street, even imagining that sound in my head makes me grin. Foolishly, I’m dreaming about back yard barbeques, the smell of food grilling, earning its succulent stripes, that charcoal smell, chicken, corn, cheese burgers, hot dogs. We always have way too much food when we have friends and family over for a BBQ: potato salad, coleslaw, fresh, crispy bread, four different kinds of cheese, at room temperature, salsa and bread, mozzarella and tomato salad with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh, fragrant basil. Hummus and pita triangles and fresh vegetables and dip for our own vegetarians. Potato chips, pretzels to tide us over, pasta salad too with veggies chopped up so fine you can barely see them. We’re always too full for dessert but that passes quickly. The dessert table includes: chocolate mousse cake for the chocolate lovers, vanilla and coconut cake freshly baked brownies, my home-made banana bread with chocolate chips and raisins, fruit salad, a cherry and apple pie. Marshmallows are a given; I like mine burnt completely on the outside, charred, the inside still gooey, runny and soft. Ice cream is in the freezer just waiting to jump out and join us.
I am so happy and…oh wait, I forgot. It’s still February and ice is hitting the windows like little rocks of torture. Reality is difficult. The gusts of wind are my enemy. Let me keep dreaming, please but I know I can’t. I don’t want to leave the house in this cold weather with my bones and muscles stiff. The tender points all over my body from Fibromyalgia are raw with pain, even if I brush against someone’s sleeve. Shoulders lifted, up high, stuck in tension, held in place like soldiers in the military, standing in front of their Sergeant, First Class, saying ‘Yes, Sir, No Sir.” On demand, feeling unnaturally stiff, not able to make a move, praying they won’t have to sneeze or cough. There is no room for error.
I am staying up late tonight, I smile because it’s my favorite time, 11:11pm.; what a gift to see that on my clock. Somehow, 11:11 AM just doesn’t do it for me. I miss sleeping deeply, the way I was able to do, now I sleep lightly and it is not restful. I don’t know if it’s aging or a medication or a phase but I don’t like it. Maybe if I stay up really late, my sleep will be deeper, my dreams fanciful and memorable, in shades of purple and pink and yellow. Of course, yellow.
It’s been a long winter already, and it continues, I know it’s just February but it seems like it’s been February forever. The weeks seem to go by fairly quickly but the months drag as if they are ground in cement. They drag on like a tired tortoise in heavy, deep, wet sand, barely moving a centimeter every few hours. I know the lesson, I do, we have no choice but to accept it even if we feel angry or impatient, Mother Nature wins. I need to slow down, my impatience will not do me any good. I will try another approach, perhaps I will make lentil soup or pea, start to read another book, listen to music and be grateful I can stay inside today, in a warm house, cooking, cleaning and stroking my red dog’s fur.
Spring will surprise us when it’s ready, not when we are, that we know for sure.