At some point every winter, a point that varies in both duration and location on the calendar, I get noticeably tired; and the feeling of being so tired first catches me by surprise then worries me. I am surprised that an abbreviated work day (ending at sunset, between 5 and 6 p.m.) can drain me so thoroughly; and I am worried whether the fast approaching longer workdays (also ending at sunset, but gradually closer to 9 p.m.) will be sustainable.
Then we are gifted a late winter weekend like this, and everything feels right and natural again. Everything feels possible after a few consecutive days of clear blue skies, sublime warmth, and trace breezes. We indulge in a long, slow series of outdoor projects and hobbies, shedding first our gloves mid-morning then our coats by lunchtime. Eventually we bare our pale arms and maybe legs to the almost forgotten throb of true sunlight. Having endured so many months of that filtered silvery gray, that colder atmosphere that is beautiful in its own way but still distant, impersonal, this sudden onslaught of heat is buttery. Seductive. Very personal.
So I am no longer worried about being able to keep up with the lengthening days. I trust that my energy and life force will soon redouble. This gorgeous first weekend of February has reminded me (again) how energizing the sun can be, how it helps us meet the clock. This productive and happy first weekend of February has reminded me (again) of how motivating and sustaining new work is. Progress. Enjoyment. Long hours spent lost in work that we truly love.
The fabled groundhog, by the way, assures us of an early spring this year, which echoes the Almanac. We could still see all kinds of crazy weather over the coming weeks, but after the past few days I feel neither tired nor worried about that, either. I am excited head to toe, inside and out, by all of the work before us. Grateful that such bliss can be called work. Wide eyed about nature and cycles and the myriad possibilities being laid at our muddy feet.
Happiest of Februaries, friends!
“Often, the sweeter the first fruits of a habit,
the more bitter its later fruits.”
(quote found in Atomic Habits by James Clear)