Winter’s End

I will get back to blogging, I promise I will. I expected to be tired this week, but not this tired.

Today was the sort of day when you come home, take care of your obligations, eat dinner, and then say: I’m just going to rest for a few minutes. And you wake up hours later from a deep sleep, feeling as though you haven’t really rested at all.

It’s late and I still have work to do for tomorrow, so I’m going to post another picture. But this will be the last one. I’m posting it in honor of the fact that today, it was actually sort of warm. Sort of.

Winter is ending, and I’m so grateful. Here, to mark its passing, is a final glimpse of winter:

I’m seeing crocuses and scilla in the lawns. Soon there will be daffodils, and I will be quoting Wordsworth in my head as I walk around. And then there will be tulips, and I’ll be thinking of Dutch paintings and stock market bubbles.

There are so many things missing from my life right now. So many things I would like to do in my life, so many ways I would like to be creative, live more fully. I can’t do them right now, because so much of my time has to be spent looking at a computer screen. I can’t plant a garden. I can’t refinish furniture. What I can do is look at the world around me as it’s waking up, throwing off the coverlet of snow it wore for so long, and longing for it, longing to live fully in a way I can’t at the moment.

I’m very good at pacing myself, I am. I’m very good at being goal-oriented and saying, I can’t have that now, but I’m working toward it. I can stay focused, take the steps I need to get there. That’s obvious, I think. How else did I get through law school and then out of the law, how else am I making it through the PhD program? But I miss living, I miss feeling as though I were fully alive. I’ll get there. I just have to keep reminding myself that the world I’m working for, the world I want to live in, exists.

It’s a world where I have the witch’s cottage I described so long ago, where I can go to the seaside in the summer (early summer, I think) and write. (I’ve even found the perfect cottage. When I have an idea, I immediately research it. And you know, Nag’s Head is surprisingly affordable in early summer.) Where I can go to antique stores on the weekends, and go to museums and wander around the art. Where I can find some Patrick Dougherty installations to look at. (Aren’t they wonderful? Like fairy tales in wood.) Where I can stop by a farm stand and buy peaches, peas. Where I can feel the sun on my skin, and wander around in an orchard or a forest, following a creek and looking at the crawfish. Where I can feel warm and contented and free.

It’s been a long time . . .

That’s what I’m working for, and I’ll get there. It just takes all the focus I have right now, and some nights I end up like this, up late, trying to do everything I need to for the next day. Tired beyond tired.

But I have those thoughts and memories to hold on to. And I’m writing as hard as I can.

When I get there, that will be winter’s real end, I think . . .

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5 Responses to Winter’s End

  1. Erzebet says:

    This is a wonderful post (your whole blog is wonderful) and one that really hits home as I’m currently doing the same thing, working toward a little cottage in the woods. I look forward to reading more about your end of winter. Thank you.

  2. Joy says:

    Good luck. Spring is coming. There are crocuses in Salem. I haven’t had time to work in my garden yet, but I’ve blocked time on the calendar tomorrow, and the rakes will fly.

  3. Rob K. says:

    Wow, I can actually feel the exhaustion coming off that post.

    I think you’re right, though. Follow the steps and you’ll get to where you want to be. Winter will end. Peaches and peas will come.

  4. emily says:

    I wish I was as good at pacing as you are or as focused as you are. You put out a good front, though. You’re tiredness does not show. Anyway, the weather is magnificent today. Spring has definitely arrived! Take a break?

  5. Maery Rose says:

    Sounds like a lovely dream. I think it’s good that you still manage to see and enjoy what’s around you, no matter how busy you are. I spent a good deal of my time during my life, focused on the work with an eye on the future, not noticing now. I truly regret that. But now, I wish I had some of your ability to focus and get things done rather than just feeling the exhaustion and not doing the writing I want to do.

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