December 20. We’re a day away from the shortest day and longest night of the year. There’s light in the tunnel now. I can start emerging from the cocoon of my mind and claw my way out into the sunshine. I have to admit that I’ve spent more time in the valley of the shadow this December. It wasn’t that bad since I did not put up a fierce fight. I greeted it with gentle acceptance. That made the difference.
I’m working at this conversation. It would be easier if I came at an earlier hour when I’m more up. But I needed that energy to do the ADL (the activities of daily living). Being so cold and dark this morning, I did not go out with my skis. I was content to stay put, read and make soup. I was not content long, disturbed by the noisy snow blowing from next door. I was irritated and unsettled. John Grisham’s The Rooster Bar was not engaging me either. It got rather monotonous and boring. Looks like it’s just not mine opinion only according to ratings on Goodreads. I might just dump it. Why waste my time, eh?
Irritated, I pounded on the piano for awhile, getting out my frustrations. By then the sun had come out, shining full and bright. The sky was so blue and the snow so white. It was a totally inviting picture. I made up my mind that I was going skiing after lunch no matter the cold temperature. Besides there was no wind. It was my kind of day.
I was not disappointed. I had the guy drop me off at the park on his way to his boat building workshop. The park was a picture of perfect white beauty. School must be out for Christmas. No children around. Not a soul was seen. Just me, bundled up like an eskimo, walking on sticks. After making once around the park, I was limbered and faster, almost gliding along the track. You might think I knew how to ski. I was pumped coming off my skis at the end. Ok, I was panting a little, too. It was a little harder breathing through a mask, but it kept out the cold air.
Now, it is day’s end. I am content with no angst or anxiety. The dining room table is still clear. I’m looking forward to the morning and another day.
December days can be murderous on humour and well being, especially for one such as I. Add Sheba’s pesky afternoon shenanigans to the mix and I want to scream and pull my hair out. My hair is thinning so that stops me. What’s so bad about December days? Well, let me tell you.
In November, it snowed just about every other day. That was fine. The snow lit up the grey. It made everything look bright and clean. No dirt to track in. Come December a warm front came. The snow went but enough left to freeze over, making it treacherous and difficult for our walks. Ugh! Now the cold came back. No snow. We are still left with grey and ice to navigate on. Double UGH!
Egads! Days like today set me on edge. Everything is difficult. Everything gets on my nerve. Sheba on my heels continuously. Her hair everywhere it seems. Then there’s all my clutter. Everything seems to go wrong. Trying to work on a painting, I picked up my spray bottle to wet the paint. It comes apart. The bottom falls off. Water falls out. The bottom cracks. More water on the floor. Nothing to do but retrieve the bottle, mop up the floor and give a great big sigh. No LOL – laughing out loud.
What do you do when life hands you lemons? Make lemonade, of course. In this case, I’m not sure what to make. I am sure everything would turn into lemons. Best course of action is to lay low. The day is almost done. I can do like Scarlett. After all, tomorrow is another day.
I am cold this morning in the desert. I tried to do my quigong outside but my breath would not come. I could not be in the moment. How could that be?
But I gave in and came into the warmth. Then I was able to be somewhat one with my breath and finished my morning routine. Ahhhhh! Some relief.
I am learning to relax into the mysteries of the desert and life. I am learning to embrace Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Whole Catastrophe Living – that it is about ALL of life, the good, bad, and ugly. There is a reason for everything.
Slowly, I am quieting myself. I am steadying myself, staying within myself with ease and not wandering out, lost in the desert. I have trust in myself and the universe.
I am cool in the desert this morning. I am missing the snow of home, Sheba’s happy face, our morning runs and hot chocolate after. But I am getting warmer in the desert. I am happy and content.
I am still struggling with this cold of mine. It is tiresome now and getting on my nerve! I have to remind myself to take a deep breath and let it out. Frustration never works. It just hampers healing. Though I resist it, rest is what I need.
I close my eyes and travel back to trying times in the past. I remember when I struggle the hardest, in my stubborn non-yielding way, things got more difficult. It is when I finally learn to surrender and open myself to the universe, that life became wondrous and magical again.
Everything is a circle. What goes up will come down. There will times of sadness and happiness. There will be health and illness. There will be darkness and light. And this cold, too, shall pass, if I am willing.
So it was -32 C this morning – pretty cold by any standard! But I did not feel it. In my mind I was sitting out on the deck of ‘our’ chalet at Escape3Points by the ocean in Ghana. I can hear the ocean and feel the balmy warmth of the morning. I watched the birds looking for crumbs from our breakfast. And not long after, the puppies came to visit.
I’m marveling at the power of my mind. It is not that these images in my mind help me ‘make it through’ the winter, for I truly love the season. I love the whiteness/brightness of the snow. I love the crispness of the cold winter air. I feel my best on those cold, cold still January days when the sun is shining so bright and I’m purring in the warmth of my sun room.
Don’t get me wrong, though. I get my share of cabin fever. A long stretch of gloomy winter days does me in. It makes me feel like I’m struggling, struggling and not getting anywhere. But maybe that is just another cycle of life. Wouldn’t it be boring if we’re happy and bubbly all the time? Wouldn’t we look like a commercial for Pepsodent toothpaste or Spearmint gum with our shiny toothy smiles? Oh, how bland!
There are difficult days in the heat of summer or on a tropical island, I am sure. But I don’t think anyone dare whisper any hint of it. Funny. So, of course, it has made me feel worse when I get those terrible blues in the summer, when all was so perfect and everyone so happy….school was out and everyone was on vacation. Hmmmm. I know better now. I see clearer now.
Now, I embrace whatever season that it is. Each has its beauty. Each has its faults. I embrace wherever I am in the moment. Like the seasons, each place has its own beauty and detractors. Beauty and value are in the eyes of the beholder. And drama exist everywhere, for we are the players. I embrace all the times I’ve been in, for it is from these times that I learn and grow and love and live.