You know something’s up when I’m tired of an excuse to stay inside. For a short month, the blustering winds and heavy snows of February seem to be stretching on to forever. I don’t even think it’s the weather itself that’s dumping down on my mood, but all the associated rigmarole. Getting ready to leave the house shouldn’t take 5 minutes once you’ve reached the front door. Still, when it’s below -15 Celsius you’ve gotta have thermal long johns both top and bottom, a sweatshirt, your jacket, gloves, a scarf, a hat and chunky boots. No matter how many times I tell myself I’m just playing as Iron Man, it doesn’t lighten the load. Despite my aversion to sun, fresh air and gratuitous exposure to both, it’ll be nice to at least have the option.
I miss summer dresses and exposed legs, denim skirts and (surprisingly) high waisted shorts. I miss those floppy dilettante hats and people wearing smiles. I miss feeling warmth on my arms and legs without standing by a heater. I miss flopping about in jandals, being aware of the ground so much closer to my feet. Dogs and their owners jogging together.
I want to recall what it was like not to have to plan for clothes. No coat check, auxiliary footwear or alcove for excess apparel. I want jogging to be something in my life, for the potential of dangerous slips to fade back into memory.
I’m thinking fondly of stone fruits: Peaches, plums, nectarines. Tropical platter fruits: Pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon. Sangria in lieu of cider, margaritas taking the place of evening hot chocolate. Soups could be salads, stews could be sausages (laid diagonally on the bread, down under style of course). Ice cream erryday.
Days spent lazing about with grass on my back, armed with a pen and a notebook. Hearing the hum of cicadas, to once again be amazed by the manifold miniature lifeforms with which we share this planet. I want barbecues and outdoor potlucks with beers in the dusk. I want movies in parks, late night walks and sunsets that last a lifetime. I want music festivals, food fairs and tramping. To sneak into public pools late at night, skinny dipping on nude beaches. To recall what water’s like when it’s fluid, not firm. People happy, enraptured. At this time of year a giggle almost feels like a fantasy.
I’m ready to complain, to bitch and moan about how terrible it is to sweat. I want to loathe my lack of energy, how drained I feel. I want to feel petty, because I’ll know that the luxury of being able to grumble means that things aren’t really all that tragic.
Mostly though, I’m ready to live rather than just survive.