No matter how many years fall turns to winter, it catches me by surprise every time. This was the week old man winter paid a sudden visit to our area.
Thursday the temperatures plummeted. Friday began in the teens and only inched itself up into the twenties, with an unforgiving stiff breeze, and finishing off with a light coating of freezing rain. A walk around the block left my face and fingers numb. But he can be a little fickle. Saturday and Sunday brought balmy temperatures once more, but he is back in town this evening.
It’s as if I got a tap on the shoulder and turned to find him winking at me. ‘You didn’t forget me, did you?’ he seems to say. But the truth is I had. I had forgotten once again the bite he can deliver. That desire to dive back into bed and pull the covers up over my head. No amount of layers keeping me from shivering.
It reminds me of when I went into labor with my second son. My first experience had been like most first births……. 24 hours long and amazingly painful. It took a few years for the memory to fade. Thinking I remembered what it felt like, but I didn’t. Which is why second and third children exist…… But that first labor pain with my second child was like the tap on the shoulder bringing it all rushing back in. ‘You didn’t forget me, did you?’ But honestly I had.
This week in my Friday night ‘time for me’ as I stuck my body out the bedroom window I braced for the bitter cold. I closed my eyes to breathe it in. As I opened them back up I noticed how once again, with all of the leaves down and the air so clear, I can see the houses that surround me. Together the back of our homes form a circle with the woods as our center. All of us with back walls comprised mainly of glass. Close enough to be able to sense movement and life within each, but just far enough that none of us feel compelled to limit our view with any curtains. A community – yet we haven’t met. All waking each day to the same view and falling asleep to the same noises. When the leaves fill back in…..I will once again forget.
As I lean out, my heart racing, exhilarated by the cold on my skin I can hear the scamper of the fox playing. I know the squirrels are all burrowed deep in their nests high in the trees. I sense our small herd of deer will pass through soon. They too can now see us all.
And old man winter is right in there smiling. ‘Time for us all to get reacquainted’ he says with a wink.
Now I remember,