Bone chilling cold. Sweaters wrapped tight are a bulky armor. The news is full of places with worse complaints, like five feet of snow in Buffalo, NY. My short commute is dark but dry. Soon it will be crunchy, slow and slippery. The ten minutes of pure joy, driving over the back mountain to watch the sun set over Monadnock, is a memory.
So senses become focused on the close at hand, the minutia of wrestling wood into the house to burn, the gloves now necessary to grip the freezing steering wheel for the trip home. I love driving into the garage and smelling wood smoke. Dogs and cats who are used to spending their time outside in the sunshine are wagging and meowing by the door to get out into the chill. They do not stay long but they can never seem to coördinate their arrival back at the door. Precious minutes are spent opening, closing, opening closing and keeping an eye out for the really old ones who will give you one shot then lie down and freeze to the deck waiting…
A couple came into the store today. He soon retreated to their car while she sampled cheese and we talked. Her husband is deeply, darkly depressed and she has never felt that monkey on her back. I sympathized as I spent many years chemically dependent on my happiness. She is focused on changing eating habits and bringing more natural elements into his body to cure his mind of its darkness. I know it takes a gentle shift of thinking habits as well.
Some senses sharpen with age, others soften. I am irritated by the loss of simple things like vision; but the heightening of other senses is a fair trade. Seasonal depression is rampant, the lack of sunlight drives many of us into a funk. I can’t imagine how people North of us get by with whole days without daylight.
‘Tis the season of drying and cracking; fingertips and lips are most vulnerable at first. The atmosphere is dry and parched. Doors that swelled shut all summer now fly ope with alarming ease.
The cold brings a clarity back to life which the lazy, hazy days of summer smudged over. I feel a different warmth.