It's snowed, it's rained. The sun has come out, the wind has blown. We've seen 10 degrees one morning and 60 the next afternoon. Everything is waking up underground. Sap is rising, the first spring flowers have emerged, the summer birds are back and singing. Why, then, do I feel like I'm slowing down? I feel the way I imagine a butterfly feels in its cocoon - my wings are heavy, folded tight, and I'm in limbo. I can feel something stirring but I'm too sleepy to wake into whatever comes with the dawn. That's odd, I think. That's an autumn-winter feeling, that suspension of time, the slow curling up, the resting.
Perhaps it's because this has been a non-winter with temperatures all over the place, very little snow and no clear delineation between autumn, winter, and now spring. Maybe it's something else. I pick three books at random off the library shelves and all three are about the witness protection program. I wake at precisely 1:11 or 2:22 or 5:55. I watch the night skies because I can't sleep. I hear singing when no one's around.
This week I have fallen prey to the stomach bug that is making its way through the student population where I work. Whenever I'm ill my dreams take on weird, other-worldly characteristics. I count, over and over and over, whatever is in sight. All my dreams when I'm ill involve counting. I remember being sick as a child and experiencing what I called thunder and daisies, a recurring dream of an all encompassing, impenetrable black noise that grew to a crescendo then broke over me to spread into the most beautiful transparent light. I had that dream last night for the first time in over 50 years.
There is a dusting of snow on the ground this morning. The birds are hovering at the feeder. Clouds hurry across the sky as if they have someplace else to be. I sit and watch and sip tea and wonder at the paradox of restlessness and lethargy that weights my limbs. Perhaps my blood is like the tree sap, responding slowly but surely to the seasonal shift. Perhaps tomorrow I will be more like an emerging butterfly or a flower shoot pushing up through the frozen earth. Today I must be content to wait.