For as long as I can remember I have clung to this lasting notion that I (despite a life long lot on the sunniest side of the West Coast) am actually a lover of rainy weather. Even so far as romantisizing myself in alternative life scenarios played out on the outskirts of Oregon, cooped up in an old craftsman's style home cooking bone broth while the boys play cards at the table and the rain pours steadily onto the lush green overgrowth surrounding us wild abandon outside. Just one, of an array of similar visions I cling to as lingering fantasies based on how much I enjoy real weather whenever it's here. Which use to be not that often. And made me app to believe that I might in some circumstances anyway even come to thrive in it. An ideal this past month however proved (indefinitely) untrue. This winter as promised being one for the books. A blessed end to the shriveled state of our poor drought ridden landscape, but also a serious shift in what most of us born and bred here on the West are accustomed to. Dousing us with more rain on a regular basis than I can recall in all the years before. Starting mid November and rolling right through the tail end of February. A month that already threatens to push me into a streamlined state of depression due to just how dim and dismal the light gets. Mingled with the death anniversaries of loved ones who passed, and birthdays no longer celebrated. Love lost attached to the bitter string of closing winter months. February is what I always call it the "season in between." A title of a post I wrote the first year I started this blog. In honor of the same topic. Where even then when I felt most guarded sharing intimate thoughts publically in blogging form, must have felt moved enough to address a bleak state of heart because it felt desperate enough to warrant it.
Yet this year, and with all the rain we've had, it seems a little worse. A stinging reminder of how much weather affects our mood. Why people pay real money for light altering mood lamps. And how lucky I am to live where the sun is mostly out and shinning all year long because honestly I worry about the person I would become if it weren't. I've wondered too, if my underlying apathy has lately something do with the current state of today's politic turn. Seems a fair theory, right? Especially weighing if you (like I) are against nearly everything that's currently rising. Where maybe I had come to accept that the 6 or so weeks until Spring returns I can exist inside of a blurry, blue state of mind but somehow the feat of it all now seems to offer up a little less light on the horizon, which was always the beacon of promise to count on. In spite of the persistent calls to resist & overcome, I would say it feels - on certain days - like the feat at hand is only growing harder everyday. So even when we find solace in between the dark days to unearth humor and light in comedy shows, dinner dates, and weekend adventures, overall, the reality of life in the news feed right now sits pretty heavy on the heart. Regardless of what sites you lean on. Fake or real, liberal or right. Feeling a bit outside of it all is a valid stance I think for a lot of us feeling slightly defeated. Divided. Dismantled and unsure.
Not to mention how cruelly a lasting cold streak settles itself in the hallows of your bones no matter what you do or wear to try and ward it off. Sinking most noticeably into the crooked curve of my spine where my teenage scoliosis has only continued to twist and crook with age. An ache that reminds me only in winter just how offset the frame of my whole body really is at this point. Pain that dissolves as soon as the sun returns but tells me exactly why older people with arthritis up and clamor to the swamps of Florida to settle in the sweet bliss of warm and cushioned joints. And as much as I love a good excuse to hunker down and soak up the brooding hours of a rainy day at home, I think I've had my share. With respect, there's only so much Leonard Cohen and spiked coffee I can take before I'm itching to be outside with some heat on my skin, atop a sandy beach in July. Bare footed, in sundresses and straw hats, with the slight sting of that first sunburn on my shoulders, and longer days, and ripe watermelon sliced and waiting on the counter.
Where the fantasy of the East Coast lifestyle has faded faster than the reflections of all the pretty rainbows we've counted with glee all winter long. Where reality hints at what I could become without the crux of sunshine I've come to desperately depend on. An unmotivated women in a bathrobe finding new excuses by the hour to climb back in bed. Or eat a second plate of pasta in front of a television we keep on too much. Competing with laundry that piles up in heaps in the face of such sinking moods. Where I find myself armed with a whole new respect for the ladies who endure much longer, far colder winters with snow and rain on repeat who could and should openly scoff at such trite complaints from a California blogger crying about a month of solid rain. But I read the book on Living Danishly and found myself cringing at the thought of being holed up in the dark for so many weeks where dusk should be. I hear Missy Elliot explaining on the stereo on why she "cant stand the rain" and it sounds like a new anthem I probably took for granted the year it came out in '98. And mainly, I find myself checking the weather reports on the daily hoping for the prediction of sunny days ahead. I'm so tired of these gray skies and scattered showers I use to claim I loved. Before I knew them as intimately as I do now. This year, let it be known I learned about being a better women in the Spring, and a richer mother in Summer. And how grateful I need remain if only for the fact of good weather on my side, serving as soothing aid to precious head scape.
February has come and gone and I know I'll be getting through until the seasons turn and the ebb and flow of my fickle mind perks again. And I know that when it returns, it'll be quick and easy. Like it had been there stalking the close of those dull shadows in February's farewell all along. Ready to revive and reset me. Like a forgotten lamp in a ragged bathrobe, just waiting to be plugged in.