Envying Bears

About the time the earth slides past the midway point between its closest and furthest distance from the sun, I begin to feel those first vague tendrils of winter’s approach. They’re brief, forgotten in a moment, never completely gone. There are blue skies and sunny days, the weather is still warm, the leaves still green. But there is a hint of red there amongst the branches, a spot of yellow flashing in the sun. Winter’s coming, they whisper.

I’ve never liked the winter, the cold, the dark. The gauntlet of my birthday in October, Thanksgiving in November and Christmas in December has always been a difficult one for me. As the light diminishes, as the reds and yellows spread through the trees until one day the leaves begin to fall, I feel myself beginning to slow down, like an old-time clock someone has forgotten to wind. The house projects I so looked forward to digging my hands into since spring become too much to bear. Everything becomes an effort. I begin to develop a serious case of the fuck-its.

I got a lot done this year, though not all that I wanted – or needed – to do. There’s plastic on some of the windows, siding stacked up in the garage. There are things I could do inside the house but I just can’t bring myself to make the effort. Every day I walk past the unfinished hallway, shower in the unfinished bathroom, make my breakfast at an unfinished counter in an unfinished kitchen and think of all the things I should be doing. Thinking is easy. Doing? Not so much.

By the time December expels its frosty breath across my path, I begin to envy bears. Oh how I long to curl up in my bed, deep beneath the covers and sleep away this cold distant journey from the warmth of the sun. Were it not for the critters, I might just give it a try. They are the only things that keep me moving at all. The cats demand their food, their water, their lap to sit in. The dogs insist on their morning and evening walk. I have to admit, I do rather enjoy those walks, despite the cold and the fact it takes nearly as long to dress for them as they themselves take. I’ve been trying to enjoy each moment, however long they seem to take to pass.

Today is the winter solstice. Today the earth stops spinning away from the warmth and the light. Today is my favorite day of the year. Happy Winter Solstice everyone.

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right.

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