She wakes in her usual internal clock way. This puts her to arriving in consciousness a few minutes before a vibrating phone alarm. Turns the laptop calendar to another day. Rolls in a warm, firm bed wishing for morning love. Then to a nagging lower back from swimming and loving too much of a good thing. To the need to move from eight hour stagnancy. To hunger. To a swollen bladder.
She takes grateful steps to the bathroom as if approaching a New Year. Suddenly, realizing it truly is a New Year! 2014. It has come quietly. Without waiting, or counting down. Without lights. Unannounced. No bells. No whistles. No parties. No fireworks. No hangover in drinking. Only slumber.
It has come in silence, like a thief in the night. A hangover only in thinking. This is the way of some new things, beginnings, and endings. Like night, and morning, childhood, age, and life. They sneak up on you, pass you by. Promising new crisp things and dangling old tired greasy ones. Like bacon, some of which is gristle-y and some overcooked. Not even a very quiet, wiggly, giggly child can evade these, while engrossed in a delightful game of hide and seek. It all ends as quickly as it began. Players are eventually found out. Left to choose a response. Laughter or disappointment? Approval or regret.
She finds disappointment in the realization and weight of this day. Sadly slips into negativity. Not only is this the first day of the New Year, but it is the last day of break. Granted, she has succeeded in much writing, better resting and greater play this time. Fretted and stressed less over work these last ten days.
Done this, until unfinished tasks crept into view. Messy rooms. Reminders in piles of student work needing attention. Grading. Data entry. Thoughts of PowerGrade grate her mind. Power cords and chargers only leave her feeling more powerless. Laundry. Dishes in the sink. Shameful bathroom. The trade off has been a good one though. Freedom if only for fleeting moments.
She takes a breath of clearing. This helps, but does not remove what must be done. Acknowledging a reoccurring screen saver, she taps into an improvement plan and to the exacting of it. Got to work, but would rather celebrate this new beginning for ten minutes longer while musing in bed. Sal’s Maytag downstairs needs ten more minutes to cycle in spin before the melodious bell-ringing song sings. She gets her lease.
She would love for the sun to shine brilliantly this day. To find her bibs, buried skis and boots in some rubber made keeper in a Cat ville storage space. Leave the garage to ride Pearl up the Mirror Lake Highway. Pull into the Beaver Creek Trail head and hit the x-country trail like an Ann in a green gabled forrest dusted white. Some day soon with Aunt Marilla, who she met on a return flight from Cleveland. New friends. New adventures ahead.
She will more likely save the gas though. Default to a tromp through fields instead. Greeting Cory’s cows more of the order. Cutting a new trail to a familiar route to the Weber River and eagle nests. Her whole hearted, fully invested dogs barking and running along side her. Clipping ski tips. Colliding joyously into each other. Impeding forward motion with reckless criss-crossing. She and the dogs stitching designs in the snow.
With each burst of speed her pups naturally perform a playful nip and tuck game. She knows and does this sometimes on the Rockport shoreline. They lay down tracks to trace a winter scene worthy of arial review. This reminds her of the work of a snow artist recently shared as it makes rounds on face book. The kinesthetic creator turning out amazing symmetrical grand scale renderings to the envy of Jack Frost.
Giant snowflakes on the ground. She wonders at how the artist can etch these perfect designs. An out-take from NUED and “How It’s Made.” How can he capture a vision in his brain and then transfer it to this giant canvas? How can the artist remove himself to see the Big Picture when he is obviously too close to the thing? How can he do this clear thinking, and focus? He has found a way to do this thing. She wants to know his secret to seeing the Big Picture. Apply it in her own life.
How? Maybe it’s in the clear air. The blue sky. The sunshine. Maybe he has dogs. Maybe God is consulting. She can barely pick up her feet without stumbling and becoming the fallen snow angel she is. Smudging a potential masterpiece. She just keeps breathing, moving.
The artist has done a thing which she thinks only Nature can do in depositing ice crystals on wintery window panes. Magic. In his creation he is grounded. Ground and rendered divine like fine crystal. Exquisite like Swarovski beads in the composition. She determines to string along in spite of misgivings. Lays her self-made trail in Bohemian style, imagining God somehow looking down in hopeful approval. She wishes she could do this grand and Godly design in her own rough studio.
She loves the land. It heals her. Warmed by the awareness of bestowed blessings in this frozen moment, she finds a heart. A familiar smile. Warmth rises and fills her face like a pink Eastern sunrise up Chalk Creek. A blush given by the love of a Texan lover. She flies on red-tail hawk wings. Soars across a blue January sky gliding along hill and dale. Looking forward. Looking upward. Thinking of God and of the promise of a friend’s return smile. Warm toasty brown Peoria eyes; clear, exacting blue January ones. Excited children and puppy eyes. Happy she will be seeing these eyes again soon. Happy.
She has not even left a warm bed and yet she is fully in the moment of things that are sure to come on this wonderful first day of the New Year. Oh the places she goes and will go! In less than twenty-four hours it will be back to the blessed, familiar swing of things. Routine. Predictability. In a few months to reading across America with students and Dads and Donuts and longing for one last weekend ski adventure. In summer, Teacher at Sea. She hopes. She’ll see…either way.
Inevitably, NOW she must move! Leave the coveted security and comfort of the warm bed. Leave this home. Toss willy nilly fleece blankets and the writing process. Back to snatching and grabbing time from the grubby, greedy hands of a fast and furious work week. Remember to pause to breathe and to see that the Universe is abundant and she a creator. Taking back peace and renewed generousity. She is fully happy and present in this moment. Remembering to thank God, she climbs out of the covers. Bravely taking steps of gratitude, to begin the day in this New Year of promise.