Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Close to Hibernation

Last night I dreamt of a river, deep and green like the ocean. I had to swim along in it, let it carry me to a safe place. I knew it would, so I was unconcerned; and I was bundled in layers of clothing to protect me from the water's cold. 

I woke to gray haze again, and really wanted to be able to go back to sleep, back to my dream-river, and not wake up until the weather changes.

I don't actually hate the fog; in the fall I feel a sense of anticipation at the first wisps drifting along the fields and streets. In the fall, fog reminds me that Christmas is coming, and how beautifully the decorative lights will be enhanced by the white stuff in the air. Fog blunts the coldest weeks in January, keeping plants from freezing, and I welcome it for those few dangerously cold nights.

And there can be no doubt that on the foggiest days, when the gray mass parts suddenly and reveals the sky, the wonder of just what an exquisite color of blue exists in the world can just about break your heart open.

Today I watched a small crowd of yellow-rumped warblers cavorting in my neighbor's cherry tree. I know what they're doing -- the same thing the white-crowned sparrows are doing as they whistle their territorial call, the same thing the regular sparrows are doing as they quarrel nastily in the shrubs, the same thing the crows are doing, bringing their ladies little twigs and bits to eat, the same thing the hawks are doing, circling in the sky above the wad of gray beneath. It's time for happy hootchie-cootch, they say, and they're out there dancing and giving each other the eye.

Birds see differently than people do. People are still hunched up, bundled up, fed up, and pretty much consider that this much foggy weather has long outlived its usefulness.

As soon as my comforter is out of the dryer, I'm going to wrap it around me and crawl back into bed. I want to find my green river again and let it carry me into a land with sunshine.

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