I did something uncharacteristic just after Christmas. I spent gift money on slippers.
You know, slippers that one wears around the house. I’ve always sort of held the opinion that real men didn’t use them, but apparently I’ve been in error all these years. So, I finally gave in to Karen’s promptings, and ordered a pair that turned out to be very warm and comfortable. I almost find myself looking forward to coming home and getting comfortable in them, staying in from the cold weather and enjoying a fire and a good book.
“Who’s writing this, and what have you done with Dave?” you might ask. And, your question is well-founded. I assure you, though, I’m in as sound a mind as I’ve ever been since starting this blog (albeit that’s questionable at best). And read on, because this is going to get stranger.
Shortly after returning from Christmas travels, I found myself in the local Lowe’s searching for a new snow shovel. Now, ever since leaving home, I’ve always lived in apartments, so there’s not a great deal of home improvement I find myself in need of. Aside from the occasional minor project, I typically only see the insides of these establishments when I’m working on set construction or some other stage-related venture. I still succumb to the male impulse of browsing through this-and-that and thinking about what I could get into while I’m there, however, and as I worked my way through the “seasonal” section looking for my shovel, I found myself actually enjoying the fact that it was winter.
Go ahead. Go back and re-read the sentence. Your eyes are fine. I actually wrote that.
Anyone who’s read this blog for longer than a year or so as been exposed to the less-than-flattering terms I use to describe this season which I have tolerated at best and barely survived at worst through my life. Phrases like “making it through the cold is hell” and “if I never see snow again I’ll die happy” have long permeated my conversations through the years. And while it is true that I physiologically continue to tolerate the cold poorly, I’ve come to a psychological…and perhaps even a spiritual…epiphany about the season of which we are in the middle.
The epiphany began with my realization that snow in the South East of the U.S. is seen as an unscheduled chance to decompress and slow down from the daily rush of life. Then, a friend recently emailed Karen a reflection on the seasons. Her thought was basically that winter is necessary, because it is a period of dormancy that permits rest and better growth in the Spring. The spiritual metaphor here is obvious…winter is perfect for enjoying a fire and a good book because it affords us the opportunity to do exactly what snow forces to happen in the South East: to move more slowly, to sometimes even stop altogether for a period of time to re-charge. Call it dormancy, call it rest, call it a Sabbath…whatever your terminology or perspective, it is something that I’m realizing is necessary, yet sorely lacking for us.
One of the things that has always frustrated me the most about winter is the fact that it is more difficult and time consuming to accomplish the things I feel I need to complete during my day. What if, however, I accepted winter as the period of dormancy it may be intended for, and permitted myself to slow down and be less productive for a month or two? Or to be productive in different ways? Who knows? I might just find myself enjoying the season I’ve always claimed to have no use for.
Or, at least to tolerate it more effectively.
You realize I may have to deny writing this later…right?
Ah, put on the slippers and join us in the recliners. You seem downright middle age. Welcome to rest. It is sweet as was your post.
I have to get a raging head cold to make me slow down. I feel so unproductive.
I think we should let unproductivity be our friend at times, Steve. Just take cee’s advice.