In the early morning dark I sneak outside for a few minutes after I make my tea. It’s been a night above freezing for the first time in months and the damp coolness in the air feels alive to me. Standing out on the porch swinging my arms in random directions, my body remembers spring – the dirt and possibility lying silently beneath the seasons accretion of snow.
Yesterday, it was nearly 60 and I spent part of my day digging in the snow bank that the plow has pushed up against the Temple. My intention was to create a channel away from the foundation for the melting snow water to follow. It wasn’t strictly necessary – a good idea – but no water in the basement yet. Preventative. Prophylactic. But mostly for me. To be outside – to be pushing the world around. A shovel full of snow thrown out over the parking lot to melt. A careful channel of water through the ice and snow.
When I was young and it rained really hard in the summer, the water would come down the gutters of our suburban street in torrents. My mother let us – I suspect even encouraged us – to play outside. Or was it that we were out playing and got drenched before we could get home and asked if we could stay outside? Either way we ended up totally wet. Then, fearless of the rain, we walked up the street –delighting in the our freedom and wetness.
I do want to be included in this world - to escape this persistent dream of separation. I want to wait for spring sprouting with the dignified patience of the bare trees. But mostly these days I feel like an impatient sapling – dancing quickly in the breezes like a squirmy child: ‘Are we there yet? Is the winter over yet? How much longer?’