Winter Love

Is anyone else tired of hearing about the weather? Seems like every time I look at social media, there is another status about the cold, or the snow, or the wind chill….

That complaining done, I too am going to talk about the weather. My not-so-secret secret is that I  actually enjoy the cold. I understand that part of my enjoyment comes from the fact that I have a warm home to retreat to in times of bitter weather, but I recognize that and count it as a blessing. That understanding aside, I love walking out bundled in all my knits. The moment I open the outer door I feel an instant and overwhelming urgency to live. Cold infuses a deep passion in me to walk further, open my eyes wider, and breathe more deeply. Extreme cold shocks my nerves into remembrance that I am made of fire, light, and bright things. In comparison, extreme heat just makes me feel like a gelatinous blob of water that should probably just stay still and continue to melt (and be horrendously miserable). 

Winter is a time of precision. The branches of the trees tracing ink lines in the sky drawing the eye upward to the crisp motion of birds and, when the sky is not a sheet of slate gray dullness, the early moonrise. Snow falling is the most holy of silences, with flakes falling in delicate spirals of delicious force. The world feels so vulnerable and the bitterness biting my face sings of my own vulnerability. Nature can still level and stun me. I am barely capable of surviving it outside of the comfort of my own home, but this does not cause me fear. This knowledge causes me to grit my teeth and remember my brightness. For stars still gleam on frozen nights and the tiny sparks of Spring are just waiting for the moment when they can come forth and dance. Winter is for patience and dancing in one’s  vulnerability in the midst of the vast forces of this beautiful place.

Moon and Stars

I find myself constantly thinking “This time last year I was…” Though that thought has ended in a number of ways, most amount to a single truth; this time last year I was very unhappy. I do remember the bright points, mainly friends who gave me reasons to smile (especially ZeldaStark who made sure I had a family to share Christmas with) in the midst of the dark.  Still, I was utterly miserable last year. I hated my job. I hated my location. I missed my man. I missed my family and other friends.  I was facing the fact that I was going to be unemployed in the next month and I didn’t even have a Christmas Eve service with candles lit to lift my spirits. Twas a gloomy time.

But even then I knew I was lucky. I am lucky because I did have good people in my life. Many of them were fellow employees at that job I hated. Despite the fact that I was going to be unemployed soon, I had a strong support system that I could rely upon until I regained the ground I needed. Though I missed my man, he had been making many an effort to come see me the whole year, thus allowing a long-distance relationship to succeed. The Lord scattered stars through my dark sky, and His moon was never far from my gloom. He told me that I should not stay where I was. He urged me to leave, trusting Him to give me what I needed . Trust is not easy. Hope is not necessarily second nature. However, I knew that my choices were limited. Trust would give me focus, and hope could dispel the anxiety that would dog me otherwise.

This year, I am in New Jersey at the moment with my parents. The house looks beautiful and I am about to go to a Christmas Eve service (candles definitely included). My current job is a wonderful place where I can grow in my craft and yet I am allowed to be a human rather than just another body doing work. I have forged a good relationship with my boss and I have burgeoning friendships outside of the workplace. I love the location despite the challenges of constant snow. I am living with my wonderful man and our sweet little feline in an apartment that is perfect for this time in our lives. I grow. I love. I live. The stars grow brighter and His moon grows fuller. For now, I dance in the light.

Merry Christmas, wherever you may be this year. If it is a place where there is darkness, remember to look even harder for the stars.

Hey, What a Way to Spend a Day

Had a most fabulous and beauteous day. Started simply enough, with a trek to the laundry room and a bagel breakfast. Then, I had the pleasure of talking to my dear boyfriend Handsome. Considering that he is a bit of a distance from me, phone conversations are extra delightful and I happily whiled away the time at the expense of getting my laundry out on time. As I headed to go take care of that problem, I spied my neighbor’s cat Josie. She is a lovely feline that I have admired many a day, and I have been slowly building an eye-contact relationship with her over the weeks. Wouldn’t you know that today she decides not only to have a conversation with me, but she also sidles right up to me to be properly stroked and loved. I truly do not understand people who don’t enjoy animals. I mean, bad prior experiences aside, how can you honestly be ambivalent towards a fuzzy creature happily snuggling into your hand, and rolling on the ground in a delightful fashion to make sure you account for every possible scratch spot. Laundry be damned, I chose to take a couple minutes to enjoy the kitty love. After I finally tore myself away and managed to get my somewhat smelly laundry back in process, I received a visit from ZeldaStark. She was gracious enough to chill with me until my laundry was complete, and then we were off on many adventures. We first hit the yarn shop. Historic day, I walked out without any yarn. Yes, ladies and gentlefigs, it is true, and you should consider starting your preparations for the apocalypse. I went in for a very small purchase of beads for my next project, and that I fear will be my last “fun” material purchase for a long time. I am in a place financially where I really want to actually save my money, and wouldn’t you know that the main “material” draws on my will power (yarn, books, and Etsy purchases) are all things that I am actually quite sufficient on for the time being. I may allow something yummy once a month, but even that is contingent on everything else demanding my adult attention (and my adult paychecks). From the yarn shop, we made a foray into the House of Sadness (my name for WalMart) so ZeldaStark could make a minor purchase herself. My quarrel with WalMart need only be expressed through my closed wallet so I just steeled myself, focused on my excellent company, and pretended we were just passing through an ogre’s lair and would be through shortly. Then, the purpose of our trip, the farmer’s market. The previous post should be enough to give you an idea of how well that excursion went. ZeldaStark also pointed out that we should embellish our baskets so that the kind cashiers would not continue to think we were purchasing the woven receptacles every time we checked out. A brilliant notion, and though I have every intention of beginning the work tonight, I cannot reveal my plans (or the result) until next we go to market because I suggested we surprise each other. Bidding her farewell, I happily commenced cleaning my apartment, which took a long time because I kept stopping to dance to the music I was listening to at the time. I find that the last two days have smeared a smile all over my face, and now I go to take care of the last few bits of administrative business. Perhaps after that, I will begin embellishing a basket :).