Musing on a Warm January Day

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Moss and lichen cling summer green to the January lilac

It’s a gray day here in New Hampshire. Raining when it probably should be snowing. The temperature, warm enough to open windows. My phone tells me it’s 59 degrees outside. Soon it will be 60, but tomorrow will bring a nearly 30 degree drop in temperature, and on Tuesday it should be snowing.

Yesterday, when I was out with the dogs and my son in the balmy air, I recalled walking in Boston more than twenty years ago, in January. It was a surreal day. Ninety degrees in the city. In January. A few years prior, there was an April Fool’s snowfall that dumped two feet of snow on my car in Providence. The weather has been extreme for decades now. Yet it still feels strange. Surreal.

I am not comfortable with this new normal. Now, most days, the atmosphere sparks with the unpredictable. Or, rather, what shouldn’t be predicted. It can be incomprehensible how we cling to old ways, even when we should change them.

Last night, my husband and I watched the movie Tolkein, and more than anything else, I was grabbed by the scenes of war. No wonder, I kept thinking, he wrote what he did. I was filled with frustration as I watched scenes I try to avoid in books and movies of a senseless and barbaric act we’ve woven into the fabric of humanity since nearly the beginning of our time here on Earth. To the victor goes the spoils of the greatest number of lives extinguished.

In these moments, I’m acutely reminded of the chaos of our chosen existence. The swirling darkness that lives inside of us. How we strive for power by killing life. The irony is sometimes too much to bear.

Outside my open window, it sounds like a tropical symphony. Birds sing as though it is spring and the lichens on the lilacs wear a stunning shade of aqua beside a vibrant green moss. Looking at it brings me comfort. It soothes my troubled heart. As does the happy confusion of wild birds in January.

Nature accepts more easily than I do, and I am grateful that I can turn to its soothing balm to temper my troubled soul. Acceptance can be hard to embrace these days. It can feel as helpless as it is freeing. Inside of it, though, is the knowing that I have chosen to be here in this time, as we all have. To play some uncertain role that I often cannot define. To move through each moment with an intention to cling to more grace than anger. More love than hate. And more forgiveness than resentment. And, what a challenge for this we have been given.

 

13 thoughts on “Musing on a Warm January Day

  1. Oh, Alethea – how beautifully you express yourself…You wrote, with the innate talent you possess, exactly how I feel…I live in love and hope, as I know you do, but my eyes brim with tears too soon after they have smiled with happiness at some minute blessing mother nature has blessed us with. All of life is surely a conundrum, and perhaps love and hope are the only escape routes, or breathing tubes…from evil? Peace. xx

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    1. Dear Joy, It is so easy to see both the dark and light these days, isn’t it? It is as though we are living in polarity, constantly, but there is peace to be found in the constant beauty of the natural world. I take great solace in that. Much love to you ❤

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  2. It was 65 today and yesterday in Southern NH. I went running in shorts and a t-shirt! We’re looking at 8+ inches of snow next weekend and perhaps two weeks of constant below-freezing temperatures. Odd. I hope you enjoyed the warm day!

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  3. It was almost 70 in Buffalo on Saturday. I do NOT love it. I do NOT understand people loving this climate change weather. They are lost in delusion.

    I miss the snow. I miss it like an old lover that I will always love. It’s dark & depressing without the snow. & it should NOT be 70 in January!!

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  4. It has been balmy here and now there is a huge storm blowing in. Such extremes, yet I feel it mirrors what we are seeing play out across the world. You write so eloquently, Alethea. Like you, I avoid scenes in books and films, where violence is the answer. Hugs to you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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