Winter one better do me one better

It’s the dead of winter, remember
Sun setting red on the hill of red trees
Cold dusk’s blue clouds white skies
I count the days
I dream

(Bernadette Mayer, Midwinter Day)

I’m having a serious case of February. I thank Martha Beck for her humorous and insightful blog post about coping with the doldrums of February, because then at least there’s some consolation that maybe I’m not going crazy. I also appreciate Bernadette Mayer for her incredible work of poetry, where she marries daily scenes of domesticity with the doldrums of winter. She reminds me that there’s a way out (or through) the deadening effects of the season, whether it’s via the dream state, love or the persistent act of writing.

I’m fortunate that the winter in the South is relatively short, at least compared to where I grew up in New York City. Yet, February in Atlanta is generally a procession of relentlessly dreary days. How is it that the shortest month of the year feels endless? I wish I could take Beck’s advice to sleep 23 hours and 45 minutes a day!  Sleeping during the coldest, energy-sapping, light-depleted month(s) of the year makes perfect sense. Fur be damned, there’s a reason why bears hibernate! And honestly, I think I would go hunker down in a cave if I didn’t have a toddler who recently decided that sleep is optional. Trying to do anything that comes naturally is impossible when you are faced with a little human being who is determined to rearrange your notion of what constitutes normal.

At heart, I’m a snowbird. You know, the people who migrate to somewhere – anywhere – warmer. One of the best winters of my life was the one where several weeks were spent in the sub-tropical warmth of Hyderabad, India. That said, I do enjoy the occasional snowfall. We received snow on Christmas Day and it was magical. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect backdrop for the day. But now I’m ready for Spring. Ready for more than the occasional day of sunshine, framed by damp, cold rain (or the dreaded “wintry mix.”) Ready to stop layering my clothes like a hobo. Ready to smell life returning to the Earth and dig my hands in the warm soil.

Winter, to paraphrase Mayer’s line, “better do me one better” before I completely lose it. Spring is amazing in Atlanta and I’m waiting for Sol Invictus to bring it on, blazing.

(Photo credit: Vicky Frank on Flickr)

5 responses to “Winter one better do me one better”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sarah Morgan, danayoung. danayoung said: Winter one better do me one better | A life itself #winterdoldrums #poetry #februarysucks […]

  2. *clears throat* Ya know … someone was born in February! hehe

    But I can understand that this winter has been particularly frisky and trying for many.

    As I was driving to our 630 music lessons yesterday, I noticed that I was no longer driving in pitch dark. There was actually some remnants of daylight! I was very excited that winter is coming to an end and spring will be here in no time!

    Then we can all complain about allergies instead. *winks*

    1. Dana Lisa Young Avatar
      Dana Lisa Young

      It is so nice to have steadily increasing daylight. Definitely grateful for that!

      My wedding anniversary is on Valentine’s Day! I figured I might as well have something special to look forward to (besides your birthday, of course!)

  3. ^.^

    Is it really? That is SO sweet .. to be wed on Valentine’s day!

    Yes .. me too .. I feel like a plant .. I need the sun, even though it masks the single-digit temperatures outside, there is just something about it that rejuvenates my spirits.

  4. […] Four years ago, when I was 7 months pregnant with our daughter, my husband Seth and I got married. We decided to get married on Valentine’s Day because we thought it would be fun.  We hadn’t really considered that we could never actually go out to dinner on our anniversary without making a reservation months in advance, or rubbing shoulders with every other couple in town. If nothing else, I figured it would give me something to look forward to in February, which is my least favorite month of the year. […]

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