It’s that time a year again when nothing is happening. And no, I don’t have the Post Valentines Day Blues, it’s just that it’s February. I’m not looking forward to Christmas and I’m not looking forward to summer: summer is too distant. It is that time of year when nothing is accomplished so I hole myself up with intentions to hibernate and sleep away these dreary months. (Lately, my location for napping has been the second floor lobby of the library on campus, ya know, by the big windows).
I only want to shut myself shut off from all forms of civilization, in my cave-like roomdrinking an Echinacea and Airborne concoction- wishing I had taken heed to my mother’s advice of downing copious amount of vitamins. Typically in the winter, I have a constantly running red nose and a tissue in every pocket of every winter coat I own. It is this time of year when I research new places to live; I imagine myself on a faraway beach looking at the sparkling aqua sky and hearing the gentle sound of the surf. I envision myself closing my eyes as I exhale- opening my mouth so servants can feed me grapes. In this daydream, I am in a place where blonde sun-soaked surfer boys saunter by hoping for a big kahuna. But today, although it is that time of year, I’m finding myself deleriously content with the Northwest. Usually it’s rainy and gray, with each moment being worse than the next. It is February when all aspects of life are devoid of any shimmer of hope. The month of February has historically been the darkest, joyless and most miserable days of the year. I find myself thinking, “It can’t get any worse than this.” And then it does: I catch another cold. So, what makes this winter day so different? The sun emerged and showed her positively brimming face, which ricocheted off my small corner of the world.
I drove with the windows down, with upbeat summer music playing, sipping an iced mocha. Some might say I was out of control, validating my hipness with my overpriced beverage. I even donned my trusty three-dollar running trousers that I got at a thrift store five years ago (ya think I got my moneys worth?). I ran around the neighborhood listening for the sound of distant lawnmowers, basketballs bouncing, and giddy children. I was feeling (more than usually) pleased with myself.
Instead of dreaming of a new place to live I’ve begun picturing myself as a bonified-full-fledged-Northwest-naturalist reaping the benefits of summer. Yeah, this place isn’t so bad: February is tolerable. To jumpstart this early spring, I’ll start eating steamed kale, tofu sandwiches and green-healthy-looking-juices. Then I’ll go into the gorge- hike up to the top of the lookout point- ¬¬watch windsurfers and enjoy God’s creation. After that, I’ll go to the beach and dip my toe into the frigid salty waters of the Pacific Ocean. Ooh, and then sit outside and have a barbeque! Aah, I’m thrilled to see the signs of spring sprouting up early this year; there is evidence of daffodils poking their way through the soil. Perhaps I ought not get carried away; after all, there still waits a few more months of winter. But, it is days like today that put a smile on my face and a twinkle in my eye. The Pacific Northwest is great, no matter what those other people say (mainly Californians). Who needs a far-away beach anyways?