As of last night, I am officially on leak watch. My keen eyes scan the upper edges of my living room ceiling regularly for the telltale signs of failure in last winter’s emergency repairs, now that this winter has finally made an appearance. In related news, I’m also officially on spring countdown. I find myself dreaming of sun-warmed rocks, beach roses, blue waves, mid-summer sunsets, and escape.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the inside of the snow globe while the snow is falling. I recite Robert Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” to myself, down copious amounts of hot chocolate, just about mainline chili, and listen to Joni Mitchell and the Zac Brown Band on repeat. It’s dealing with the snow and ice on every surface that I could do without. Also, the deep freezes. I do not like them.
Then, of course, there is my admiration for everyday magical moments and their rare appearance in my world. The winter holidays are a little heavy on the magic-that-is-not-mine. In fact, for most of my adult years, the span of time from Thanksgiving to (nominally) Ayyám-i-Há and (definitely) Naw-Rúz has made me want to hibernate through it or find a time warp and skip it entirely.
This year, though, now that work and home are the same place, I was nearly untouched by the general frenzy of baking and buying and partying leading up to Christmas. I could appreciate the lunches and dinners with friends, the too-short visit with my folks, and the season’s greetings all around without feeling vaguely left out of Exciting Things.
I’m reasonably content that my New Year’s plans include sparkling cider, some kind of take-out dinner, and tax preparation. Valentine’s Day, I will continue to carry a stake and wear garlic to stave off ghosts of unfortunate incidents past. Ayyám-i-Há is shaping up to be low-key. The 19-Day Fast that follows is often my favorite time of year; I’m curious to see what happens if I roll with the body’s natural demand to chill out in the late afternoon. (Fear not: we fast from sunrise to sunset, not for 19 days straight.) I just might make it to someplace with good music this St. Patrick’s Day. And Naw-Rúz? Well, Naw-Rúz is spring!
I am lucky, too, that I will be quite busy from mid-January through mid-April. This is my second semester in pursuit of the MFA. It's something like 12 weeks long, while the fall semester (which we start early) was around 18 weeks. And yet I hope to draft more of the book this semester than last. That requires a whole different kind of magic.
Of course, sparkles and surprises could appear in the midst of all my best-laid plans. Can’t blame a girl for wishing on a snowflake. Or a beach.