I feel heavy. In my soul and on my mind I just feel the weighted emptiness that comes in the dead of winter. It is inevitable and predictable, this process of dying in order to be reborn. It is like a fog of sorts. Day in and out the pattern is the same. We wake to snow. We go through the motions of the morning, all of which are made more complicated by the cold and the bleakness. We navigate the additional steps of preparation to even leave the house. It is amazing the amount of extra work that winter brings. Clearing the driveway and walkway best we can, checking the road closures and possible issues via all those modern and super handy social media tools, starting the truck, bundling up the dog, bundling up myself... I find it all very tedious and emotionally exhausting. It is for those reasons that I find myself, by this time of the season, normally barely able to concentrate on much of anything other than going through the steps of seasonal survival and thinking that I will feel much better once the wheel turns just a little bit further.
I still find an adequate fascination with the Dark Season, but when the reality of THIS.SHIT.IS.REAL (and long) hits me, I consider how much more fascinating it would be if I could just hibernate in my little house-cave, practice meditation, drink mead and cuddle with the dog for the remainder of the season. I need to have a career that allows me to work from home. I need to move further south. I need to take a vacation for the entire duration of January AND February and then, perhaps, I would not mind winter so much.
None of these things are feasible of course. So, I muddle through.
I have never mastered the art of enjoying winter. Despite my best attempts and despite my mindset of true fascination and awe during the first portion of the season and near WINTER SOLSTICE I always seem to slip a great deal come mid-January... I just don't have it in me for any more of winter.
Still, I cannot falter. I have to just keep moving forward with the turning of the wheel. Where winter is concerned, I am just along for the ride and I guess that is what weighs on me the most. There is no controlling the weather. Much as we magical folk dream about, it in an overall, regional manner, we just can't. We are just as helpless in that regard as a small boat tossed about in a raging sea. And so my life is impacted (or my lifestyle, more accurately) by this thing I cannot control and that folks, gets really old by this time every year.
It is easy for people to say - it is just the weather, go do what you need to do. The reality is that some things I need to do and like to do are not safe or manageable when winter truly sets in. When younger, perhaps I would have ventured to the barn during a blizzard or with three inch thick ice on the road. Maybe I would have thought of it as a battle, an adventure, a risk I was willing to take. As I "mature" I am much less invincible and much more aware of the impact my choices might have on my well-being (not to mention the well-being of my truck LOL).
See, I live in an area where they don't clear the roads really. LOTS of the outlying places in WV are like this. Main highways and city streets come first, secondary roads (and when I say secondary I don't mean suburb roads I mean 1 1/2 lane winding, hills of roads up every hollow), are an afterthought. If it is a bus route one has a better chance of seeing a plow. Salt or cinders? If you are lucky, maybe IF school is not canceled (because why would they waste them is buses aren't in use?). Add to that the fact that thanks to the fracking industry we are short on every large equipment operator and driver position in existence. Who wants to work for the State Road division for $10 and hour when one can make double that driving for the oil and gas carpetbaggers? It is simple economics on a very personal level.
Growing up in the mountains I am more than used to even greater this level of snow. The difference is that our communities had the means to deal with it and where I live now, they simply do not. In my childhood hometown every other house had a truck with a blade, service jobs were plentiful and winter was a way of life. Not sayin' I ever enjoyed it, LOL, it just wasn't this level of frustration...
So, I am heavy into the reality of my least favorite season now and am reminded as I am every year at this time that in planning for my eventual future I must consider all these factors that I ponder while I slurp my morning coffee and get ready to clear that driveway again.