Well, we conquered January, two-faced...wench...that she is, by enduring a wacky final week. We got a little taste of just about everything, weatherwise. There were two days of balmy 60-plus degrees, when Winter-weary denizens took to the outdoors with wild abandon, lapping up the tepid rays, working out in light clothes instead of wool and thinsulate layers...and smiling contentedly. It suddenly struck me, as I took full advantage of the gentle temperatures to go running, that you just don't see a whole lot of upturned lips, when people are burrowed into their coats and scarves, heads tucked in like down-wrapped turtles, trying to present as tiny a surface area as possible to the elements, in order to preserve warmth. I had plenty of time to contemplate this as I covered ground--nodding to dog-walkers, waving at small children on bikes...and sensing the unmistakable aroma of barbeque grills firing up at the dinner hour. (Also not something you usually experience in January around here.) I was enjoying myself so much I purposefully passed my street...twice...because I just wasn't ready to stop yet. Dee-lightful.
The next day Mother Nature apparently decided she'd been spoiling us, and that would be entirely enough of that, thank you very much. So she bestowed upon us a monsoon-like-storm. Raging gusts of wind, sheeting waterfalls of rain...and the resultant flash floods, of course. Then, just to continue the meteorological mayhem, she dropped the temperature twenty degrees, but let us keep the gale-force breezes. Yayyyy. Finally, as an emphatic punctuation mark to the January nuttiness, she plummeted the thermometer back below freezing and gave us...a fantastically slick sheet of snow and ice last night into today. Oh, and more of that marvelous howling wind. Yippeeeee.
Naturally (ha!) all of this serves to reinforce my deep-seated belief that I really, truly, 100% for sure cross my heart and hope to die...ought to live someplace where Winter is only the name of a season, NOT a finger-numbing, coat-wearing, inside-dwelling phenomenon. Even my children are creeping toward the same conclusion--as they are forced by the frigid conditions to entertain themselves inside the house instead of running around the yard as is their preference. (Because, like me, my kids can only stand so much chill before they reluctantly give up and return to the Mother Ship for warmth.) How desperate are they for fresh air that doesn't freeze your lungs? During the aforementioned deluge, Derek played basketball in the driveway for a half-hour, dripping from every pore and shred of clothing on his person, but nevertheless exuberant about his outdoor game.
As for me...if I must exercise surrounded by walls, at least I can look forward to my dance class to perk up my spirits. And there's always Funky Friday yoga practice at a local studio. I very much dragged my feet about going this morning, not feeling in an Om kind of mood. But after sliding my way there on the not-yet-melted roads, and skating into the building across the perilous parking lot, I found exactly what I needed after all. Amazing stretches, motivating strength challenges, and yes, a much-needed infusion of inner peace. This particular teacher, whom I had never experienced before, told us she likes to close her sessions with a mantra. She proceeded to sing a short phrase, repeated a number of times...while accompanying herself on her own ukelele. (Yes, you read that correctly. Don't laugh, it was absolutely beautiful, inspiring and all-around AWESOME.) After class I approached her to ask for the Sanskrit words that she had used, and she obligingly wrote them down for me: Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. Translation: May all beings everywhere be happy and free. A lovely sentiment to chase away the Winter Blues, don't you agree? So while I can't play the tune myself, I think it's a good bet I just might find myself chanting this as we head into February...perhaps on each and every one of the 47 days remaining until Spring arrives (YAAAHOOOO!) And namaste...