Spring seems far off, impossible, but it is coming. Already there is dusk instead of darkness at five in the afternoon; already hope is stirring at the edges of the day. ~Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography
I suppose I knew when I set the jar of wave-washed shells on the window seat in my office that one day far off in February I'd be looking at them in a longing sort of way, hoping, waiting, wishing hard for warm days. Those days are here and have settled in to stay. We've been teased and taunted by 70 degrees and I've had to watch my children run barefoot through the yard, in this gray February no less, knowing full well that the chill would return, the ice along with it and weeks more of winter. I am right now, finally wishing for the end of it.
I'm doing my best to avoid whatever plague it is that has struck my husband, and hoping to keep it from spreading through the house, dancing this yearly dance that we do with sickness. I listen to the stories from the kids about which of their friends were sent home with which unspeakable malady and how many others in their family are befallen with the same dreaded ick. "Wash your hands", is about all I can say and just hope to see the forsythia popping open soon.
"Key West" my husband says, will be our final answer. Key West is where we'll settle, or someplace like it. Somewhere warm. A place where clothing is light, swimsuits are daily attire and shoes are optional. But I always wonder if the winter doldrums can be felt there too or if there is some equivalent. I wonder if it's the rain that nags at people's sensibilities and makes them long for something else. Or is the sand a frustration or the salt air that destroys and corrodes or are they worth living with just for the temperate climate? I don't know, or won't at least for a good while, at this point I'll settle for the escape the dream offers, it's far better than complaining.