It Smells Like Cold

The first snows came early this year. And have stuck for several days now. Leonard is thrilled. Every walk is like a treasure hunt. He digs his snout under the snow and pulls on the leash. I wonder if the snow sets the scents in relief somehow – why the same old neighborhood smells are suddenly so mesmerizing. If I had a wish this morning, it might be for snow thinly blanketed over the everyday things I take for granted.

As it is, I am sitting with a cup of cinnamon coffee in front of the computer screen and a blue therapy light. The space heater is drowning out the blackbirds. If they are there. And Leonard is curled up in the living room on the couch. I think the space heater annoys him. He likes the cold.

I slept poorly last night. Ruminating over things I need to say to students about their work that I graded last night before bed. Dreaming about students, and about me behaving in selfish ways: letting my frustrations overwhelm my pedagogic obligations. Being something of a bitch, I suppose. I grabbed one girl’s hair, looked her in the eyes, and told her I wasn’t going to babysit her sister. I’m convinced that sometimes dreams are random and not messages from the subconscious. I’m already totally conscious of my bitchy tendencies. My frustrations. And my obligations. And for goodness sake, doesn’t my awake behavior already give me enough to feel guilty about?

Twelve work days until Christmas break. And again this year I am just not ready for it. Every year it is the same disappointment. It comes unexpectedly and I just can’t seem to rouse the energy to deal with it: the advent season. The planning, shopping, cards, and handmade gifts – and sorrows.

Yesterday, heading to and from yoga on the train, the usually deserted station was bustling. The town square was filled with kids and music. All I could think of was that it was because the shops were open on a Sunday, and that made me sad. Am I a cynic for wondering if the place would have been empty had the shops been closed?

Despite the record high electricity prices making headlines in the national news sites, the neighborhood is lit-up. The windows full of Christmas stars and electric candles. Walking Leonard through the streets is cosy. But the mood seems to slide off my back, and I don’t know why. Or I do really. I grit my teeth at the expectation of the ghosts of Christmases past.

I will try harder this morning. I will try to stop resisting the season and all the pain that comes with it. I will try to find solace in letting the present moment in. To be more porous. I know it will do me good.

I’ll rouse Leonard off the sofa and see if I can look at the morning walk as a kind of treasure hunt. Blackbirds are out there somewhere.

One Reply to “It Smells Like Cold”

  1. Shall we let go our judgment about our own judgments? Recursiveness, huh! I’m told true peace lays within. I’m looking.

    Many many years ago I became disenchanted by commercial Christmas. A few lights I enjoy. A few. But all that feeding frenzy about gifts feeds no one. Is it lonely at the bottom or just closer to the mud? 🙂


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