It’s been a busy start to the new year: a return to our many homeschooling projects (see above), wilderness programs, basketball practices and games, indoor soccer and wrestling, skiing, art classes, and the re-ignition of the rush-and-go engine, fueled by lots of green tea, visits to my chiropractor and acupuncturist, and flying, ever so gracefully, by the seat of my pants. Christmas brought together family and friends and offered a bright and festive pause, but the deeper layers of relaxation never seemed to take hold. I keep thinking that someday I'll enjoy a proper vacation again, but for now, life does feel at times like a flurry, really, a blitz of be here now requests that I am at once grateful for and scornful of, a creeping feeling that there’s too much on the docket, that it’s time to drop some ballast, get rid of the old, make room for the new. Winter, with all its blinding snowstorms, and the hushed, lovely stillness that follows, has a wonderful way of slowing things down, and we’ve been graced with some gorgeous days, bright skies bleeding blue, and white snows sparkling with the triumphant return of the sun, that have helped me find a new tenor, walk a fresh beat, fire up the inner ceremonial circles of light and dance and joy and beat back the encircling fear.
Now that my tattoo has all healed up, and my girl is all done, it feels good to have a new project, to be able to set my sights on the 3-day, to have something to work towards, figure out. I figure, why stop at the breast as far as reconstruction goes? My whole body could use a serious overhaul, so it feels really good to fight the wrinkly knees, the aching joints, the punch-drunk lungs, and feel my deep wellsprings of energy returning. I’ve been training as much as I can, walking in the cold rain, in flurries, along patches of ice, through fresh, fluffy snow. One morning, I walked through a stifling fog that rose and swirled around me in thick ribbons, and every time a car approached, headlights suddenly appearing out of nowhere, I’d have to jump out of the way for fear of being completely smashed to bits. The great thing about that day was that by the time I had turned my third corner into the final fifth mile, the sun had shot of the sky to burn away the fog, warm the road, and shine directly on my face. Winter roads aren’t always hospitable to walkers, though, and the cold as of late has made it downright dangerous, so I’ve had to hit the treadmill much more than not, brave the dull clink and clank of the endless loop, the inane feeling of going nowhere, and the sudden motion sickness and hankering for sea legs that hits me as soon as I step off, reeling, the ground still moving underneath me, and try to walk, and actually go somewhere.
The snow seems to fall every few days, brightening and covering the dirty roadside banks, and filling the woods with a hushed, lonely quiet that I can feel in my heart. The stillness rouses my hibernating self, reminds me that there is more than just deep snow and deep freeze in this bleak mid-winter, that if I watch closely, I’ll notice that the sun rises higher in the sky each day, that the days are getting longer, that spring is coming. The spectacle and promise of tomorrow's Inauguration seems to echo the call of winter: it may get worse before it gets better, but there are silver linings and good things to be found in the darkest, coldest hours, and that it is best to experience winter in all its glory than to hide out in its shadows.
(It's about time!!)
We’d planned to head to my mother’s house tomorrow after skiing for an Inaugural Dinner, but Dom, who wanted to wear a tux to the event, just went to bed with a troublesome croupy cough, so we may stay at home. Wherever we end up, we’ll be looking for our friend Galen and the
Ok, that’s the end of my speech. I wonder if there are any last minute positions that Obama has yet to fill, and if he might want to look my way. Secretary of the 3-Day, perhaps? Minister of the Gap Band? Celebrator of the New Girls?
The kids and I put together some cut and paste Happy Inauguration Day cards this past December, in preparation for the Craft Fair, where we sold them to giggling people of all ages who seemed to appreciate our light-hearted approach. We first started putting Bush heads on babies’ bodies two years ago, when we crafted an entire book of Bush Babies and Bushisms, in The Search for Bush’s Brain. Once we started, we were addicted, and when Sarah Palin arrived on the scene, oh my! Here are a few we concocted, just for the sheer fun of it. No offense intended, please. And, oh, HAPPY INAUGURATION DAY! Yahoo!!