It seems unending. It isn’t suffering. Nothing that intense or glamorous (for a tragically hip Pisces) ;)…. It is more like trudging along in the snow day after day, which after all is basically what everyone I know is doing. One foot in front of the other because that’s just what you do. You don’t dare lie down and you don’t dare stop or you will be stuck, but you sure aren’t stepping to the tune of anything uplifting.
I spoke to a friend about this at length over lunch. There are many complications in a life less ordinary, especially from the standpoint of emotional support and even things as simple as another body to assist in the massive task of shoveling snow out of a 100ft. driveway. I’ve always known this to be so and have actually spent equal parts of my adult life alone as in partnership, so it isn’t anything to cry into my almond milk about.
We all have those days… I had one this week in which, in the midst of the last “snow event” I was shoveling and shoveling, wondering if I would be able to get to work since after clearing my own driveway I had to wonder if the state road division would plow and cinder the neighborhood, or the 1.5 lane road you have to take to get to the highway (named Paxliner Hill but AKA “hey this could be used as a slalom in the next Winter Games” because that same state road division never really bothers)…
So here I am – flashback to that day:
I shovel and it snows and it blows and my fingers start to hurt and I shovel some more and somewhere along the way I have this upwelling of sadness and an incredible sense of how senseless this all is.
GET.A.GRIP. I say this outloud to no one. I’m not a crier, see. I just don’t do that. It all stems from being told over and over as a kid that I was too sensitive, a baby… So, anger replaced sadness and sensitivity in my life. Anger I can work with. Crying has no place or purpose.
Yet, I have found myself crying many times in the last several months. At the side of a dying cat on Christmas Eve and for days on end afterwards. After a particularly confrontational day at work. Over something emotionally draining at the barn (there are constantly emotionally draining things at barns LOL I'll do a funny entry on that someday). And now because it is snowing? Seriously?
It makes me angry at myself. I’m stronger than this and I tell myself to stop being a fucking baby.
Oh, by the way, I certainly learned that language/reaction/way of treating myself well haven’t I?
But, instead of stopping I put my shovel down and go to sit on a huge rock formation on one side of my yard. It overlooks a small cliff, basically. Probably a 50 or so foot drop off into a lovely ravine filled with laurel and trees. And I just watch it snow and I cry. Silently, looking around me slowly and listening to things. Birds at my feeder in the background, squirrels occasionally scurrying up one of the trees, coal and limestone trucks a mile or more below on the highway, crows in the distance, a dog barking further up the trail… A redheaded woodpecker lands high up on the tree directly in front of me. I start thinking, as I often do, about what it would be like to be a bird…or a dragon or a Pegasus or basically anything that can fly. Fly away.
I’m looking at this tree and my gaze travels down. Down to the ravine below me and I realize how TALL this freaking tree is. How expansive its limbs are as they stretch upward toward the sky from that very low forest floor. This tree is HUGE and I have never noticed it before. I start to wonder where its roots go. Are some of them under me, deep below the surface as I sit on this outcropping of rocks?
Are they waking even as it snows? Is the tree already planning for its sap to crawl upwards, to nourish itself and dress its limbs in the shimmering greens of summer? Patiently waiting, knowing and yes, longing…
Is longing what keeps it going? That need to seek life, to bend but not break, to follow the sun high in the vast expanse of the universe and try to touch it....even though this is an impossible task the tree keeps trying. Even though below me its roots at some point hit rock they keep pressing on. Under, over, through, pushing forward and longing...
For some reason, all this calms me and I take a breath and think – it is only winter. It is only winter and the driveway is mostly clear. It is only winter and I can work from home for a bit if I have to (ain’t technology great?). It is only winter and it will pass.
I think it is the closest I have come to keeping my resolution of “presence” since making it at the New Year. Because even though I am indeed, hoping, praying, wanting, needing it to pass, it was sitting in the present that gave me what I needed that day.
And the deeper question. Deeper than my disdain for the season and the almost constant state of inconvenience that we have been living in for almost 10 weeks straight.
Much deeper. Are tears closer at hand because I am safe to have emotions now? It isn’t that being in partnership made me unsafe it is simply a learned behavior. You never show your pain. You don’t shed tears in front of others. Are they cleansing me? Are they playing catch up after having been swallowed for decades? Does my soul currently need them?
It is an interesting series of questions for me and I suppose I just have to let it play out. I’ll also be interested to note how/if my feelings and reactions to things change as we move into spring. I’ve never been this open to the admission of my “issues” with winter (borderlining on actual SAD and not just winter blues) before. Maybe via that admission I’m being swallowed a bit by my own emotional whims.
I know that I must find some kind of strategy for years to come. I’m not retiring to greener (and warmer) pastures anytime soon. And beyond that this winter has been a signal to me that some of my plans involving remaining in the region or moving home might be in question. But, again, it is a different story when you have your horse on your own property and truly do work from home (or are retired) than when your livelihood and love depend on actually getting somewhere other than your backyard. My dad, for instance, says he has no problems with winter because he just goes down to his basement and fiddles hours away in his workshop. LOL. Wish I could adopt the same practice but, alas, that is not my life right now.
Trying to live well in every way...and sometimes laughing about it later.