I don’t usually mind winter. The cold and the snow are a part of life in New England. The keys are to bundle up, eat enough, stay warm and get outside to enjoy it. There’s nothing like the silence that accompanies fresh snow. I don’t mind shoveling and I actually enjoy using my snow blower.
Normally visiting friends and going out to eat are part of this. You brave the cold to get somewhere warm.
But this year was different. With the pandemic winter seemed more of a trap and trial than just a part of cycle. There was nowhere to go outside of trips to the grocery store and too many trips to Lowe’s to buy things that would help pass the time. And hopefully improve my house.
A friend of mine had a couple of bonfires. But even those were changed via the pandemic. Despite being outside we kept our distance from the other attendees. A strange dance as we moved to avoid the shifting smoke while keeping a safe distance from one another.
To be fair, and honest, my winter wasn’t nearly as bad as most. I was one of the lucky ones: I never worried about where I was going to live or where my next meal was coming from. Because of that I was able to focus on thriving rather than just surviving this pandemic winter. I read a lot, worked on my existing skills, and tried to pick up some new ones. I went deep into my meditation practice.
I hit a wall though. A few weeks ago the weather changed. The sun showed itself more meaning blue skies and temperatures warm enough to be outside with just a sweatshirt. Some days in just a tee shirt. But then the cold and gray returned reminding all of us that winter wasn’t quite done yet. But I’d let down my guard and when the cold returned I struggled to get my bearings again.
But now it seems that winter has lifted. The sun and blue skies have returned. I’m back to coffee and reading on the deck.
In addition to the weather it seems that there will be an end to the pandemic. At least in its current form. I’ve scheduled my father’s vaccination and my age bracket opens next week. I don’t know if we’ll ever return to the normal we used to have, but it’ll be close enough compared to the past year.
Welcome spring, goodbye winter.