Here in Vermont, fall is still hanging on by a thread, but winter is closing in quickly. It snowed more than once last weekend; mountain peaks got walloped two weeks ago. My furnace, just 6 years old, is on the fritz, but I’ve got a serviceman coming tonight.
Work the last month – OK, two months (or is it three?) – has been chaotic, a war of mental endurance usually waged on far too little sleep. The loose ends of my day tumble on a repeating loop through my brain at 3 a.m., mixing with regrets and hopes, self-reprisals and favorite memories hanging in the darkness: Why? Why not? What if?
Too soon, the clocks change; for the foreseeable future it will be dark when I go to work and dark when I come home. The shifting season marks a passage; tick another few months off the calendar and – unbelievably – it’s almost Thanksgiving. Each season has its joys and sorrow, but this transition to winter echoes with losses large and small.
I mourn the 5 a.m. summer bike rides and 8 p.m. cookouts. I don’t miss the mosquitoes and the fruit flies, but I linger over memories of warm summer evenings and picking blueberries on a hot August morning. The world around me is changing, and my mood deepens with the early dusk.
And so I turn to look forward: to soups and stews, cozy evenings in front of the fire and white, twinkling holiday lights. I pull out soft, forgotten sweaters and a prized pair of boots, a bargain at a consignment store.
Before I can notice, the light will start, slowly, to grow, and as the temperature creeps upward and the snows melt, I’ll be thinking about expanding the deck and planting perennials. Time flies, and not just when we’re having fun. I blink, and a year has passed.
May it rest in peace in the recesses of my memory.