This barren, grey, dormant landscape of January makes it difficult to be enthused about much. While the majority of the animal kingdom dreams of greener days, and the fowl of the air make their thousand mile treks, we stay shamelessly wrapped in our snuggies, devouring bowls of chili or soup dinners. We take our coffee in front of the fireplace, trying to subconsciously block out the dank permeating wetness that pervades the dreariest month on the calendar. There are no neighbors working on their landscaping to wave at as you drive passed, no joggers lost in their ipod play lists,no young boys putting lizards in their pockets that will morph into a surprise for their mom's come laundry time. All the excitement and excess from November to New Years Eve has bogged us down into an anti celebration coma, so we hide in our caves of brick and mortar and wait. We don't give any thought to the process going on out of doors, we only gripe about what the light bill is going to be as we increase the temperature on our central heating units.
I have never been a big fan of January as a whole. To tell the truth, I am probably the #1 most wanted person on the "January Anti-Defamation League" poster. It holds some very devastating memories for me, and I've always resented the entire month for that, if that makes any sense. (To me, it does. That's what counts) I seriously dread January. It's rainy, muddy, and crammed with work deadlines for the fiscal year. I find it hard to tolerate that people are so determined when they begin the new year so resolutely, but in a few weeks are back to their same old tricks. (insert leopard/spots adage here)
I hate January and I don't even have seasonal affective disorder. My vitamin D level is quite alright, thank you very much. It's personal between me and this----this, I don't know, most useless of time measurements.
February is not too bad. At least their are beautiful flowers everywhere, albeit they are only around because of the much too commercialized Valentines Day, but it beats the crap out of a landscape of dying poinsettias and Christmas trees on the roadside waiting for the garbage pick up. I can tolerate February....March is good just because it's name makes me more hopeful, but the summer is what my heart most desires. The smell of fresh cut grass. Driving down rural highways and agreeing with the cows immersed in ponds up to their necks, acquiescing that if I could be in a pool instead of in a suit headed to work I so would be. Grumbling about the inevitable sno-cones in the car spills, and cleaning the mess that the sticky, bright yellow banana Popsicles my sons devour at the speed of light creates.
I miss the sights, the crystal clear blue of the swimming pool, the perfect red of a freshly cut watermelon, dripping with juice and the promise of a sweetness on your palate that only nature can provide. The color of blue the sky holds when you're on a quiet flight and you're high above the clouds, that pure crystalline blue, you look out your window seat and believe in forever when you see that blue.
I miss the smell of chlorine & sunblock that fills your nostrils as you towel off your kids after a nice cool swim, taken to combat the oppressive heat. I want to ride my bike and stop to pick wildflowers with my daughter. I miss trips to the zoo or the fair where you are 1000 degrees hot, the humidity is at 400%, and you think "Wow this was a dumb idea. What I wouldn't give for a cold winters day."
I get the January blues because my mind craves to see something in bloom, anything that signifies that life is moving forward and will continue, the same as it has for so many centuries, something that tells me it will go on. Sunshine will come again.
I was outside today, in a spot I often go to have quiet thought, and I could hear my 3 kids jovially pointing out the squirrels jumping from limb to limb, their initial surprise as a rabbit jumped in front of their path, and Crash's excited bark as they walked in the woods. Their laughter carrying through the hollows and hills, wrapping around the trees and brown leaves as it made it's way to fall upon my ears. And you know what? They didn't seem to be bummed about the whole bleakness of this time of year at all. They were genuinely enjoying one anothers company and the dogs, and I realized they had done something I have not. They have come to accept that what occurs with nature, the withdrawal of the breathtaking color surges and the inactivity of the land as a part of the natural order of things. And they were totally cool with it.
Perhaps we, like the world, are meant to experience periods of dormancy. We don't have to be at our peak performance at all times. We can, and should have times of reflection and introspection, when we build up our reserves of the parts of ourselves we must give to others. We won't always be a blooming bouquet of flowers, we can't always be on top of our game, have all the answers, or be everything we have to be (especially as women) unless we give ourselves a little time to rest. Rest and reflect. I can't look at it as a barren greyness of the landscape, any longer; for in doing so I am saying it's a barren greyness of my soul, also.
I should enjoy, no appreciate everything in it's time, and in it's season. Give myself time to be dormant, so I can fully enjoy the sunshine.