waking up

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on waking up

waking up

This past week, I slipped away from cold Toronto to the South for some reprieve.  It has been a relatively kind season so far this year, not nearly the abominable one we suffered through last year.  Since we had been free of those long and unabated arctic freezes, I was surprised to see just how heavy the winter doldrums I had been carrying had become until I was able to take them off and set them down.  Tight shoulders and short strides melted away as air moved lightly across my skin, a warmth so perfectly approximating that of my own body I felt a part of it, and it a part of me.  Bright rays painted the walls behind my squinted eyes a blazing red.  I’d forgotten how easily a sweet breeze could lift the spirit and lighten the step. 

One afternoon, I took a walk alone out to the large pond nearby.  Trees stood tall at the swampy shoreline, leaning out as if looking in.  The sprawling shawls of Spanish moss that draped across their wooden shoulders danced along with the rippling water below.  Ibises and singing ducks and the anhinga warmed their feathers on the grass.  I sat with my face turned up to the sky, absorbent and still like a sea sponge dredged from the Gulf and set out to dry in the sun.  The clouds hung above—over here, pulled like taffy; over there, fractured like ribs.   

Time stood still for a while; not even a zephyr could move it.  And finally, my mind let go of the resisting and rested, quiet, yet acutely awake.  Inside and outside bled together as my ears filled with the hushes from the brushing trees and the chirps and squawks, as my skin melded with the rough blades of the crab grass. When I opened my eyes some time later, it was as if the needle of my tank had swung from empty to full.  I had been lulled by winter into a dull state of disconnection, into a deep hibernation of the senses– I was in the world, but not quite of it.   The light and the air and the birds were medicine for my sundered slumber.

I imagine that this is what it might feel like to make your way to the other side of a depression, or to feel the first smile spread across your face after a long spell of grief.  It was a reminder of something I manage to forget each year, or of something I never fully trust from my place within this season of protracted darkness: the light always comes back.  Eventually the sun shines and people laugh louder and walk more and slow down and look up.  And it feels like a big inhale, the kind that gives you a rush or a shudder.  It feels a lot like hope.      

All content by Lisa Veronese. Please do not publish or copy my material without my consent.