Eighteen daysPosted: January 28, 2012
I dawned on me last night that it will be Valentine’s Day in 18 days. Not that I’m a fan of the holiday, we’re too nonconventional around here for that sort of thing; neither my love nor I like being told which day to be romantic. I’m just as in love on June 18 or November 3 and no one makes cards or ribbon-trimmed boxes of chocolates for those days. Besides, I can’t see the point of giving a pink teddy bear holding a lacy heart to a 51-year-old woman whose current gift of choice would be a mitre saw. But that’s not the point.
For years, particularly since I traded urban for exurban, the middle of February has been a marker for me. It’s when I realize that I’ve just about made it through winter. While it’s still cold and I’m still trudging along in heavy coats and boots through slush, something of which I have become so very, very tired—every now and then there’s the warm rush of realization that it might be over soon. Sure there could be one of those heavy March snowstorms, and it’s still months away from summer skirts, bare legs, cold mocha drinks and that first flower in the garden—but there’s a slight glimmer of hope. I’ve just about made it through another winter and each day—slightly longer than the one before it—brings spring closer.
In 18 days, I will let myself emotionally gorge on the anticipation. I will seek out displays of freshly unpacked vegetable seeds and mentally diagram the garden. I will peer inside the big plastic tubs full of warm weather clothes and make lists of what I need to buy. Instead of black and brown and grey, I’ll entertain the thoughts of tangerine and sea-green shoes and bags. I’ll make lists—what to clean, what to paint, what to sort. I’ll think “yard sale” when I fall over something in the basement we no longer need. I’ll wait and watch for the first crispy bit of visible rose bush peeking through the snow, listen for the heart-quickening sound of water dripping outside and before I know it, it will be warm enough to open the kitchen doors to the summer screen room and dust off the wicker.
After an 11-hour work day that included fighting an ice storm to get to town and snow storm to come home, just realizing that we’re almost past winter’s half-way point was enough to make me happy. Those candy hearts and chocolates will soon disappear and once the Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies show up, it’s all-uphill from there.