The snow has melted here, low in the valley. You don't have to go far to find it again, but for now, we are content with ice and sometimes mud on warmer days. The only downside about the snow being gone is that it kept the landscape bright, even on the cloudy days. Now, as the temperature does its up and down dance, is when we have the low cloud settle in. So low some days, you feel as though you can almost touch it. The mornings never brighten, the afternoons seem like eternal twilight, and the nights arrive early and linger. It seems as though we are revisiting the days before the solstice. It is the way of the valley, especially my little town between the lakes, shaped like the smallest part of an hour-glass. Further to the north and south, the valley opens up and the clouds lift, but here in the hollow, we'll be having a strange sort of whirl with mist and fog for several weeks.
It can bring you low, this fog.
I've been faring well, or at least satisfactorily, having avoided all colds and flu bugs going around, and working my way through the grasping claws of winter melancholy. I've made it a priority to move everyday, in one way or another (outside whenever possible) and it's a proven mood lift. I've discovered a fitness studio with wonderful yoga classes in the next town and my body is thankful for the deep stretching it has been missing.
I've found that this year, people seem more willing to share their struggles. I've read articles, and had so many people talk to me about their wrestle with January and their frustration, foggy-thinking, lack of motivation, resistance to resolutions, desire to hibernate, and even their battles with despair. There is small comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one who rows against these winter waves.
I keep to my practices to stay above water. I plan outings, to shake up the endless cold days of same-ness. And I take comfort in the wise words of others.
Here is what is moving me today:
Louis CK talks about embracing the sad moments (and putting the cell phone down.)
Jessica finds out that sometimes, there are no lessons.