January Embers

January Leaves
Art by January Grey

I expected snow in January, frosted bits of ice lingering on autumns residue like broken glass shards and yet … autumn is still awake; hanging on despite the tight chilled fingers of winter. It was a breezy 70′ yesterday and after my husband raked the ground I could see the shoots of spring hiding underneath the debris as if they were reaching their toes in upside down to see if the air were warm enough to enter. I had a deep adoration for their plight considering that on the morrow the temperature could drop well into the 30’s and they could wither with the frost. I wondered what kind of flowers they were, or are, or could be and if their hues matched the differing shades of brown and mahogany that detailed the misshapen fencing around the yard. I feel comfortable with them, comfortable with the patches of dirt where grass could have been once. The rest is replaced by a lay of brick and wood that warms in the sun and is blanketed by the Sweet Gum Tree’s fruits.

The cold reminds me of when I was a little girl and was used to the cold, often excited for winter. It seemed as though when I was small the cold never reached me. It was as if the anticipation of the season warmed the skin hidden beneath hand-me down coats and color-changing She-Rah snowboots. I wore socks for mittens and danced with snowflakes. Now I can barely stand the chill. I hide inside in warm pajamas staring out these wall to wall windows waiting for winter to actually arrive. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of the girl I was, pouncing in the fall leaves and watching the clouds pass unaware of bugs or broken twigs. Does adulthood somehow shift our awareness to concern of the unnecessary? When did enjoyment become overshadowed by the cold? When did I huddle away from it? Perhaps it has something to do with the loss of those special boots that changed from pink to blue when they got cold, an early warning system that prepared me for the inevitable.

There are no secrets in this house. The outside world and the inside world are only separated by a thin veil of glass. I can touch it and feel the warmth of the sun or the cold of the evening. I stand outside and look in, the secret expressions reaching outward. The faces that fall when you turn away are only filtered by the lack of sound – the sigh. Sometimes I can’t tell if I am out looking in or in looking out. I imagine that it is a feeling akin to ants roaming against their clear walled farms feeling simultaneously safe and concern in their circumstance.

The morning is spent with a cappuccino in silence, reflecting. There are so many things to do and yet I feel compelled to stare out the windows as if waiting for the thoughts to seep through a hidden crease that my husband hasn’t found and sealed. The unfortunate aspect of being a writer is that there is this difficulty in pressing onward without the comfort of creativeness. It is my umbrella from the torrent of necessity, my safeguard from mandatory-ness, my lifeline. Without it I stare at the white ghost with it’s blinking cursor as horrid as the ticking of a clock counting away the seconds that I haven’t written anything and to escape it I close the fold of my laptop and pick mindlessly at brittle nails. I wish I had some way of tapping into the ability that other bloggers have where they can press on despite it or the old urges when I was a sadder girl that gave me a compelling nature – the force of emotion to call it down from the ether. Instead I’ve grown into this 30 something woman hiding from the cold, too relaxed by the warmth of all that I’ve been given that it escapes me. I wait… I wait… like a lost lover unconvinced of her invisibility.. for it to come to me.

At some point I will have to face the chill without the magic boots. Life moves on despite me.


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