It isn’t the rain that signals a change of seasons here. The semi-constant rain cleanses and renews but it doesn’t mark change. Nor does the blinding sun, which seems to come more in the dead of winter. It seems determined to blind us more than to hold back the chill in the air.
The seasons don’t always reflect the time of year. The calendar seems the only reliable way to find our place in time. We turn pages or click through screens to find the date. To understand where we stand in time and place.
It’s the eighth of December and the air outside is warm and embracing. I don’t listen to the radio and I try to avoid malls whenever possible so I don’t have the ever-present seasonal music to remind me what is coming. It doesn’t feel a lot like Christmas.
My daughter is cheered and filled with a sense of wonder and it is only when I see that gleam in her eye, that look on her face, that I’m roused by the spirit of the season. I’m not feeling like a scrooge. There is no feeling of animosity toward this festive time of year. Things are just not as I’m used to right now. Different doesn’t begin to cover the variance. The stress I’m used to feeling when the calendar hits December is gone and replaced with something else altogether. It’s stressful and uneasy in its own right, but in some ways easier to deal with.
It’s a passive stress. It creeps in and nips at my mind and nerves but leaves my heart intact as I feel out the season this year. Making new choices and traditions and waiting for the holidays to sink in.
Or for snow. Fresh falling snow, I think, would tell me where and when I am. So I look to the sky, mittens and hot cocoa at the ready hoping to dance in circles while the cold white fluff drifts down to engulf us.