Snow turns to rain turns to slush turns to ice. Walks at the college fields can be treacherous in February. Even the sidewalks that get me there can be risky. More than once I've fallen, though not since I got cleats for my boots. Glacial terrain is often rough and sometimes insurmountable. Again, I think of Mars. But the skies that draw me to the fields, with their breadth and magnificence, never disappoint. Gazing at them makes me feel so present, insignificant and humbled—just the way I feel I should. For Calvin, there's nowhere safe to trod outside until things melt. I wager we'll get outside together soon enough.
So many things save me from drowning in this molasses pandemic: writing and reading; listening to music; eating my husband's delicious meals by firelight and candle; watching good movies; receiving Calvin's frequent hugs; friends stopping by with champagne and flowers and homemade food; folks who check in from nearby and far; kind comments about my blog; daily car rides taking in spectacular and familiar vistas; the smiles, waves and nods from strangers who are out and about doing the things I'd like to do right now but can't.
As the sun shines through the upstairs window while Calvin takes a bath, I perch on the toilet seat in the warmth to write this blog. My son splashes and coos and sometimes goes nuts. He sounds like a monster, monkey or goat. Sometimes he's cute; at others, not so much. Sometimes he reminds me of a little Frahnkenshteen, teetering side to side with arms outstretched trying his best to capture his maker. Like Mary Shelley's prose, at times I feel we're both so misunderstood. As I type, I regard the the backs of my hands, the blue-green veins branching under the crinkly skin of age or dry winter, the simple platinum bands wearing ruts into two long, slender fingers. With time, these hands become less and more familiar. Still, they get done the work I need them to do, and for that I am most grateful.
Yes, it's all about gratitude—for the simple things, for each fleeting moment, for that which comes to us by sheer luck and not because we deserve it, for finding purpose in life's twists and turns and hardships. I heard gratitude breeds happiness, can make surmountable an impossible glacier, a darling out of a monster, riches out of misery. I've no doubt that's the honest truth.