Now That It’s February

It’s been a long time since Gerry and I grabbed coffee and went for a drive in the afternoon. Now that it’s February, the short month that feels so long, I predict we’ll spend more afternoons this way. I look forward to getting out with our cameras again, although a quick image captured the other day with my phone through the car windshield captures the essence of our afternoon.

The snow was melting but we received a significant dump overnight. No matter what temper tantrums winter throws, there’s no holding back spring. Soon it will be slush season. Already our cars and garages are mucky messes. We’re in the muddy middle. That’s what writers call the stage of writing when we get stuck. I’ve been there. Often. And I know there’s a way out.

Seems we’re also in a late muddy middle kind of stage with this blasted pandemic too. We’re on the cusp of it ending, but the aftermath will be with us for the rest of my life and beyond. Pushing through these days is wearing because we’re all so tired. A study published by Johns Hopkins last month says “We find no evidence that lockdowns, school closures, border closures, and limiting gatherings have had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality.” That’s kind of a gut-punch after all this time.

Nevertheless, joy-sparkers abound.

My orchid is in bloom, as is my Thanksgiving cactus (!). My granddaughter’s smile when we shared a joke this morning. Good, authentic conversation with friends. A Zoom retreat I took part in that left me with good things to ponder. The indignant way Murphy barks and stamps his tiny feet when he wants attention. Freshly fallen snow on evergreen trees. Wrapping my hands around a big mug of Chocolate Chili Chai tea first thing in the morning. Ninety minutes floating in a sensory deprivation chamber which I’m going to do this afternoon.

There are always things to be grateful for and to spark joy. Yes, even in the muddy middle.

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I’m a writer, reader, photographer, and gardener. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things.

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