Friday, March 09, 2012

This Too Shall Pass


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.

17 comments:

deb colarossi said...

Waiting with you ...
(feel better)

Brian Miller said...

ugh...sorry you got the flu...hit our house the other week...hope it is quick passing...

spring will be here soon enough, i hope...

Barbara Shallue said...

I know that odd mix of lethargy and energy you're talking about! Here's hoping we both push through soon. And I hope you feel better soon, too!

Tabor said...

When is the last time you had a complete physical. This just might be an anemia or vitamin deficiency...unless it is nothing at al.

goatman said...

I keep waking up with a song going through my head which I can't get rid of -- today a ditty by Tom Petty was previewed. Don't even remember the name of it.
Maybe it's sunspots??

Ruth said...

Oh rats, too bad about the flu. I have been feeling the same lethargy. Turns out I have hypothyroidism, so maybe Tabor has a good idea to get tests done? I don't want to, but I'll go on medication long term for the first time in my life. But I do hope I'll have my good ole metabolism back.

What a strange winter here too. Today it's cold again, and soon to be unseasonably warm again this weekend. It's bound to disrupt our inner habits.

June said...

Sorry you're feeling flu-ish.
It has been a weird non-winter . . . I hope it doesn't turn into a weird non-Spring!

Judith said...

Feel better soon. Daylight savings is coming rapidly, that should make things better!

Kerry said...

It is March, still winter, really, despite the signs of spring. Go easy on yourself, and hibernate a bit.

How strange that your scary, beautiful dream came back to you. Why, that's exactly how I imagine a butterfly must feel as it emerges. Take care of yourself, and I hope you feel better soon.

Out on the prairie said...

Hope you get rid of the yucks, no fun to be grounded being sick.

Frank Baron said...

I spent a goodly portion of February combating one bug after another. It has indeed been a strange season, a discomfiting one. Your unease/malaise is shared by many, I suspect. As the old Chinese curse says, we're living in interesting times.

And in case I haven't said so before - you're a very good writer.

Pauline said...

Deb - the temperatures are rising, the sun is shining, the wind is blowing. Winter has no choice about leaving :)

Brian, Tabor, Ruth - it was a quick hitting bug and gone now. Food looks and tastes good again and my energy is back. Thanks for your concern.

Barbara S - isn't it an odd combination, a pull and push at the same time. It's going though. Perhaps the strong winds of the last two days blew it away!

Goatman - I've had that happen. I wake with a song running through my head or find myself suddenly humming some tune I'd not thought of in ages. Our minds are such interesting places!

June - I hope not either. I'm looking forward to some normalcy!

J - hope your own bout with this thing is over!

Kerry - I did not see the relationship of that dream to my remarks about feeling cocooned till you pointed it out. Cool!

OOTP - feeling much better thanks and headed out for a walk in the dawn light momentarily :)

Frank - no one who works in a school remains unscathed. I catch everything the kids get. Sorry you've been ill, too. Not much fun. And thank you for the compliment - I am pleased that you think so.

Hilary said...

You write so beautifully, Pauline. I'm sorry you've been feeling bleh. It will pass, surely as the seasons do. Those times (5:55.. etc) have been standing out to me for a long time now. Real attention-getters, they are...

Laura said...

waiting...not an easy part of the journey...but sometimes the most healing, revealing and rewarding...not wating for a reward...but the quiet of waiting AS the reward.

Pauline said...

Hilary - thank you! And those precise hour minute matches have been happening for years now. I know those times aren't weird on their own but to see them so often in the wee rather than the waking hours makes them stand out!


Laura - yes, sometimes the quiet of the waiting IS the reward. This time, however, it feels more anxious than restful. It too, will pass.

Friko said...

Waiting is the order of the day right now; we are between dreaming and waking but signs of waking are everywhere.

I hope you already feel better.

Peter Bryenton said...

5:55? Snap!