This week the weather alternated between cold and warm, sunny and gray. Each morning before seven I looked out my window to see a brightening streak of blue cutting through the dark sky.
I remember now what it means to leave for a walk at five in the evening and not have to brace myself for darkness or outfit myself with reflective gear and flashing lights. I remember what it means to watch the sky change as I walk instead of tightening my hood in defense of pelting rain.
I remember now that nourishment isn’t just about eating stuff that tastes good, but also eating foods that offer nutrients, things that are green, orange, and red—things that crunch.
I remember now that what it means to move through my day with a small fire inside of me, to experience the day as a landscape to explore rather than a checklist to complete.
This morning the sky cleared and I brought my sons on a hike to the water’s edge. Along the trail, Smoke entertained me with theories about how trees had fallen (thieves with chainsaws), and Stump stopped at every puddle and called it the beach. For nearly an hour, no one whined. The forest cleared, and we arrived at the beach in time to witness a surprise: dozens of sailboats gliding across the bay.
I was surprised to realize that, for the moment, I was doing the exact thing I wanted to be doing, meaning I didn’t wish I was in Hawaii instead, or writing instead, or watching TV, or sitting in a hot tub. I just wanted to be there, on the beach, watching the sailboats while Smoke collected rocks and Stump hit water with a stick.
I think of my family members in New England and imagine the snow piled up past their windowsills. I imagine them trapped inside winter, tiny little shoots of green sleeping under snow banks.
I don’t envy my New England friends, but I want to be there on the day that winter begins to melt, that first day you step outside and can actually hear the water dripping, can sense that the snow has begun its return back to the source.
Come Monday morning, in my dark cave of an office, I’ll be feeling like those sleeping greens, craving elsewhere, wishing for light.