Updated: Apr 6, 2022
As we age, we become reconciled to the earth.
No. But that’s the idea anyway. Reconciliation. It’s why we breathe to begin with, you could say.
I am sitting on a porch chair, gripping a mug of tea. The sound of cold: that is, of quietude, of distant cars moving thinly through the air, unencumbered by heat. It was raining. Now it’s just wet. I was right about being too eager for spring, because the cold is back and biting.
I imagine suddenly that I am a retired woman in my late sixties. Images arrive forcefully in the winter, unbidden and irrational, though often true in an inner sense. Why do I feel old? Because I am sitting on a porch with a mug of tea and feeling peace.
Seasonal depression becomes worse towards the longly fraying ends of winter, interminably gray after a few sun-spread days, my psyche holding on by a thread. If I cannot be close to happy, I must try to attain at least a steady sort of peace. So I have been clinging to spiritual practices- to transcendentally beautiful music, to meditation (which includes a new practice of focusing on two words a day), to simple breathing. I suppose it has helped because the cold is moving through me cleanly today, without stinging beneath the skin. I am always tired, but this tiredness is tempered by acceptance, by focus on specific tasks (I can still accomplish most tasks, and that is something).
I suppose there is something about this peace which makes me feel older, makes me feel reconciled. Why can reconciliation come only after there is nothing else left to do with life? I must learn when it is time to surrender to the seasons, and when it is time to fight.