I usually associate the early part of the year, marked by its increasingly longer daylight hours with a parallel upsurge in mood and energy. I was starting to wonder, though, what was the matter with me this year; I felt unmoved and pretty unimpressed on a few days when the temperature was noticeably above freezing. Why did I or other people think this time of year was so nice? Why did the TV forecasters carry on so? Had I changed? Was I not remembering things correctly? This really wasn’t doing anything for me.
Then, two days ago I spent several hours outdoors. The day started overcast and gloomy but as it progressed the temperature rose and the sun showed itself without reserve. Not only that, but a magical warm breeze – warm mind you – picked up and swirled the air in almost whimsical fits & starts. It was a breeze, the kind that spins leaves and stray newspapers, not a cold bracing wind that blows hats off or forces walkers to determinedly bend forward and march against it to make any forward progress.
Enchanted by this unexpected treat, I spontaneously stopped in what amounts to our “town square” – an open plaza flanked by small stores and businesses – to enjoy the moment. Dressed in grungy clothes, I felt free to roll up my light jacket as a pillow and put it behind my head as I reclined on a bench. I kept an eye on occasional passerby; the few people around seemed leisurely and almost as pleased as I knew I was with the delight of pleasurable weather. The vibe was laid-back.
As I lay on my concrete and wood bench (nobody said they were built for comfort) I realized it was the most peaceful and relaxed I’d felt in some time. I wasn’t stewing or ruminating about this or that or thinking about things to accomplish, but even more importantly, I wasn’t cold. Now that may seem like an obvious point being that winter is known for cold and spring not so much, but what I mean to say is that I wasn’t tensing against being cold, which I seem to do pretty much from October on, indoors and out. I am almost NEVER somewhere that could be described as overheated [insert eye roll]. I realized that, like with any particular state of being, I become so used to tensing against the cold that I no longer know I’m doing it. Until I stop.