It was only about four months ago that I was on the brink of letting out a primal scream over the icy polar vortex we were treated to in the Northeast. At that point my greatest longing was for ice-free sidewalks and roads and a magic wand to take away the seemingly endless piles of snow.
This all came roaring back to my consciousness when a friend recently posted on Facebook a flashback photo of snow weighing down tree branches. Oh my. Lovely in its own way, but whew and good riddance.
Funny how that visual put me in a place of greater appreciation for the here and now, when temperatures are hovering in the 70- to 80-degree range and every darned thing is made easier or more enjoyable because of it.
Take, for instance, the reading of the Sunday newspaper. That’s the only day I read a paper version. When the weather allows, I bring it down to our lovely Hudson River promenade, stop for a coffee en route, and while away an hour or two flipping through its sections. The best of these days are ones where friends and neighbors happen by and I get to chat or even have the occasional in-depth conversation.
What a delight to eat al fresco with a good friend and relax into the seat. Or to experience the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra with our feet in the grass and a Manhattan skyline backdrop. On a recent morning walk I passed about 10 yoga mats in a row as class participants enjoyed the fresh air while striking poses. People pushing strollers have a lolling pace. Dogs meander and mingle.
This is what we missed one hundred-fold in the ice-covered world we inhabited to start the year.
As I write this I’m ever aware that plenty of people reading this live in climates where this is the norm all year long. I think the larger message is one I need to keep reminding myself is important – sometimes it’s extra hard not to let the exterior in our lives dictate our disposition. I keep coming back to a place where I remember that the difficult makes the easy all the more glorious.
I do, in most cases, like living through four seasons. Each has its traditions and downsides and I do love the fashion aspect of each – finding just the right boot or sandal, breezy scarf or wooly one, light lipstick or deeper shade.
Wasn’t there a day in the middle of all that numbing cold that I sat in a pub near a fireplace and sipped Kahlua and coffee with a friend and treasured it dearly? Didn’t I get an awful lot done in my work and creative life staring at that whiteness outside my window? Didn’t I regroup and explore travel possibilities from my desk?
There was some joy to be found in all of that when I wasn’t focused on the feeling of being hemmed in. But that challenged me almost every day.
Now I am happy to just revel in a season when a simple walk to the drugstore feels like a treat. The windows are open. Outside is beckoning. I think I’ll take a break now.
I almost feel like I earned it.
By Nancy Colasurdo