Layers, a long coat, scarf, hat and gloves kept all but my face and ears bearably warm for the 1000 feet of pacing to my front door in 100-year-old record breaking cold temps. I kept my head down to keep the strong winds from offering a free ride to my cap and flagging me with a 15-yard penalty. My left hand pinched the outer lapels of my coat tightly together and my right hand, gloved and all, doubled up in the right pocket for extra warmth.
On the way I thought about the birds, the cats, the squirrels and raccoons that I knew were silently huddled up somewhere nearby, living in the elements and without radiators or hot water. I wanted to spin and tip my cap to them, but I was too tucked in to allow for any alteration. I steadfastly approached my foyer as if it were Nirvana. And once inside, I voiced many words of thanks even though there was no one else there to listen.
Daybreak continued with shivering mercury and on my way to visit my mother I passed by two unique trees that have also been a marvel to me…but for months already.I have not found it common to spot large bee nests anywhere in NY. Yet six blocks from each other and over the same stretch of road, two large bee nests cling to limbs, survive minus 20-degree wind chills and blizzards in matter of fact, business as usual fashion, less than 2 miles from my paradise. Beyond cap tipping, I would have to classify their designers as world class architects.
Upon my destination, the background info is that my mother is 93 and in failing physical and mental health. She doesn’t eat much, doesn’t sleep much and doesn’t move much. But she can still make me laugh. She has a very dry sense of comedy and pokes fun at her surroundings, circumstances and thoughts of death. She asked me to remind her how my father died. I told her that Dad had a golf ball size tumor right next to his carotid artery and he was 91. Her dead pan reply was, ‘oh yeah right…I thought he was going to lick that’.My mother obviously expects survival through hardship, where as I tend to marvel at it.
On this famous 14th day of February I wonder about the power that keeps us all moving through our hardships and toward our Promised land.
I wish I knew what it is that powers the birds, the cats, the squirrels and raccoons. Surely that would be a power to harness.
For me, love among others and love of life are the motivators. Hoping for some more special days. Like days that allowed for letting go of my daughter’s bicycle seat and seeing her ride for the first time. Or days allowing to see my son blow out his candles and appear happier and more content than I.And power to the days when we can reach out our hand and someone else grabs it in love.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all.