I used to have problems with February. I fully believe humans used to hibernate, and I don't care if any archaeologists or historians agree with me, because that used to be all I wanted to do. Curl up under the covers and sleep, maybe wake up enough to read, have someone bring me warm food, sleep again. It's gotten better since I accepted that, and instead of thinking something's wrong with me, I curtail my activities and do things in keeping with my energy level. Lots of board games with the boys, lots of reading and curling up under blankets. Oh - except this year, I moved. In February! And it's been interesting. I don't feel like myself.
But that's not what this post is about. This post is sharing a few things I've leaned on to get me through February. First up - some commiseration. The first time I heard this song, by Dar Williams, I was in tears. Somebody understood! Someone else has been there.
How much do you love the lines, "First we forgot where we planted those bulbs last year, and then we forgot that we planted at all. Then we forgot what plants are altogether, and I blamed you for the freezing and forgetting, and the nights were long and cold and scary, Can we live through February?" Like the blues, it feels good 'cause it hurts so bad.
This book, The River Why. I can't believe I haven't written about this book before now, it has meant so much to me. The first time I read it, I was 25, I had recently attempted suicide and was trying so hard to find me. I was nurturing the beginnings of the first wisps of spirituality within myself, and this book... this book let me know it's OK to find my own spirituality. It didn't have to conform to what anyone else thought it should be, or look like what anyone else's looked like. In Gus's search for meaning and himself, I found meaning and *my* self, and that's what a great book does. I love this book. Funny and moving and meaningful. Such a good February book, because of the awakening that happens. I've given away dozens of copies, left it places where people might find it. So many stories within the story. It's about fishing... not. Kinda like Thoreau said, "Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." It's fishing like that. *And* the regular, cast your lines fishing.
This book, I read for the first time last year. I was *transported* from cold and rainy here to the bright sun and vibrance of Tuscany. I had never really thought about Italy before then, other than picturing the boot shape when it was mentioned, or, for some reason, the canals of Venice. I knew about the food, the men that pinched bottoms... but this book brought Italy to life. That bit of Tuscan Sun lives on after you read this, even in February. I haven't seen the movie. I think I'd need to pretend it was named something else, so *my* visuals from reading this wouldn't be all mixed up with the ones from the movie. This is a luscious book.
Oh! And in a nice bit of timing, Laurie, aka Crazy Aunt Purl, just wrote about her whirlwind trip to Rome. Fabulous. Very fun and inspirational.
They help me laugh every day, and laughter is such a great way to get out of yourself. I love having them around, and the ideas they come up with. I am blessed.
And, finally, this guy.
Making the commitment to walk him twice a day has forced me to get outside, even when I have been very, very resistant to that. I learned to bundle up! With a sweatshirt, polartec, coat, gloves, wool hat. I really don't like being cold, can you tell? Getting out and walking has been the best thing. Even if it's rainy, I know I can get warm and dry when I come home.
I don't have the February blues any more, I just have February lowered-energy-levels. It's part of the natural cycle of things. *My* natural cycle. I can honor it, and not fight it.