For the last four days I’ve been terribly sad for reasons I don’t yet wish to put into general print. (Save it for the book, save it for the book.) Yesterday I didn’t go outside once but instead watched movies and also the wall. Gracie helped, she always helps, and eventually I managed to clean my house, also myself. But the sadness never abated, nor did my desire to avoid everyone.
Not great when you make your living translating people back to themselves.
Daylight savings made me happy, though—put me back in step with the human race. Waking at 5am today meant I really woke at 6am—only had to wait a few hours for the rest of the world to catch up. It was a welcome transition, this springing forward. During autumn and winter, by the time everyone else begins to stir, I’ve moved into the mental malaise of mid-morning–fed, caffeinated, overwhelmed–
Today I was first in line at the bakery, ready for croissant and bread to freeze for the rest of the week. The sun was bright and promising. Cool enough to merit the armor of winterwear, warm enough to merit sneakers unhindered by socks.
Into my earbuds I put an audiobook of Anne of Green Gables, that patron saint of hopeful orphans, and set off on a new route with new Mary statues studding new people’s stoops. Each time I encountered the Blessed Mother I heard her sing: You are a beloved child of the universe, loved in every shade.
She sings it to each of us, and means it all the time.
I’ve always regarded November and March as the loneliest months. Not the unloveliest—that honor is reserved for February—but the loneliest. November bombards you with the myth of the nuclear family, but also is rife with mystery and magic. March, my mind, is nearly charmless. Taxes loom, chickens come home to roost, snow storms–and with none of that December magic.
This year March is especially intolerable. The weather is starting to shift, and for that I’m grateful, very grateful. The sun is brighter, the days are longer, there’s a sudden promise in the air. But that promise is painful.
Maybe because half the people I know are vaccinated while I am not. Maybe because my back is too wonky for me to drive very far. Maybe because the cold in March is harder to bear. Right now everything is on the horizon—spring, shots, opportunities, freedom— and it still doesn’t feel guaranteed that horizon will become a Now. I want somewhere to go, someone to hold, someone with whom to sit unmasked on a soft scratchy couch, someone to jostle without consequence on a gloriously crowded street.
It’s Sunday morning, and this one feels especially lonely.