21 February 2015

toooooo long

this winter is endless. i am sick of ice and boots. i am tired of all this white. i hate this cold. i yearn for melting, puddles, and temperatures in the forties. tiny bits of green coming up through the snow and popping out on branches. warm sun on my face.

remember my strategies for keeping my spirits up through the long month of january? next year i'm going to extend them for four additional weeks.

13 February 2015

valentine memory

today was valentines day in schools, and i had the unexpected surprise of participating in a kindergarten party, highlighted with valentine delivery by beaming five year olds. later in the day, the little girl shared with me her valentine box from school, reading each card and the name of the giver, commenting on the styles of cards and the candy and lollipops that accompanied most. it's a tradition. we have done this every year since before she could even read them.

from nowhere today, came pieces of the ancient memory of a nine year old arriving new to a school on the fourteenth of february. the classroom was all decorated with pinks and reds and the room was abuzz with talk of the upcoming party after lunch. the teacher had a kind face and a pleasant manner, but i remember being apprehensive - we had moved around a lot and it was always hard for me to make new friends in a new place.

those were the days when there were neighborhood schools, stay-at-home mothers, and no need for lunch programs. when i came back to school after lunch, a beautifully decorated box was sitting on my desk, and inside were valentine cards from all my new classmates. i don't remember learning the details of how all that came to be, but i do remember the welcoming feeling of acceptance from a room full of strangers. years later, i suspect that it all had to do with my new teacher, mrs. stanton. and i silently thanked her again today for her kindness to an anxious child so many, many years ago.

02 February 2015

makes scents to me

a long time ago, i read that smell is a most powerful conduit in terms of memory-making - that a scent can quickly transport you back to a place, an event, or a person in your past. to that end, even though i don't wear it regularly anymore, i try to wear a spritz of my favorite perfume when i'm around the little girl. i always have. i want her to remember me.

yesterday, all my efforts paid off. while having tea with the girl, she related this story: earlier in the day, she had taken a walk through their quiet village with the little girl. at one point, the little girl stopped, sniffed the air, and said it smelled like - me! me!! eventually the girl too smelled the sweet scent, but could not identify it.

now, there was no one around, least of all me, so it wasn't the perfume. clearly, in the dead of winter, it could not be emanating from anything green and growing. woodsmoke? - i thought? i certainly hope not. i pondered this for hours before i finally came up with a feasible answer to this conundrum. i bet the smell was coming from a dryer vent behind some house. i bet the little girl thinks i smell like dryer sheets.

01 February 2015

night, late

after lying in bed sleepless, a weight on my mind and in my heart, i rise to seek solace in the stars and the beauty of the brilliant night. out the window, orion shines through the trees, his familiar belt the only order i can find at this troubling hour.