I restart the dryer for a third time to release warmth for cats who huddle outside near the vent. Cats who try to dart into the house at every opportunity. Creatures of comfort. We are all seeking some sort of comfort, I suppose. A shelter from a cold, harsh reality.
I hear the hum of a light bulb in the kitchen because I’m that aware. Feel the slipping and hear the squeaking of my wet rain boots on the floor. Feel the floor vent kick on beneath me and consider how someone must know I’m just as needy for comfort as the cats outside.
Everything is mud and I’m quite weary of these half-hearted winters. These dreary showers could be snow, and that snow could be doing the work of killing off dreaded things burrowed deep in the soil. Could be hardening off the trees and bushes that are showing the faintest signs of budding. This purgatory, encouraging growth only to snuff it right out. Things are neither alive nor dead and that’s a real unproductive place. By the time Arkansas decides to turn cold enough for a deep freeze, I’m over it.
I’ll buy seeds soon and start the slowest germinators first. Probably my annual herbs, peppers, and tomatoes. I’ll sow a flat of broccoli and cauliflower, too. Most everything else will go right into the dirt when it’s time. I’ll probably start some flowers, as well. Oh, and elderberry. Thinking about last year’s plague of Japanese beetles makes my stomach turn. Felt like I was mostly at war instead of back to Eden. It’s a reminder of the cursedness of toiling to live. Working land that deposits salt rings around your eyes and neck. Becoming a fossil of sedimented seasons. We work and there is no end to it. Not here, anyhow, in this faux garden of Eden.
I think I need a shot of sunshine to pour through the grey skies I typically tolerate, and warm my belly like whiskey. Even the cold of snow would create a light box for such drab and dim settings.
At least there will be cake on Friday for my Valentines. That’s a bit of a creature’s comfort, I’d say. Black Forest awaits us all as consolation for these low-hanging curtains for clouds. And that youngest girl of mine will make a fuss of Love day (as she does with every holiday) and I’ll take care to make it feel as special as ever apart from whatever remains drab inside and out.