There was sunshine this morning, and blue sky, and the temperature was mild enough that I didn't layer a sweater under my coat when I walked down to the shops. The maple tree outside my window is sporting tiny red buds now; the branches of the willow tree in the cemetery across the street are a little bit more yellow every day. Soon tulips and daffodils will dance around the grave stones – but tonight the wind is raging and they're calling for both rain and snow before dawn. Winter isn't over yet.
Today I took everything off my desk, pared down, tidied up, rearranged my pencil jars and notebooks. I've been having trouble concentrating when I sit down to work, and I hope that a bit of pre-spring cleaning will help me refocus. That's something about small-space living: creating a home office in a 310 sq ft apartment is not without its challenges. The boundaries are blurry.
February is an especially resonant month for me – here, too, the boundaries are blurry. Everything I do, everywhere I go, all the things I cook and conversations I have, hark back to years past. Dinner dates from a decade ago feel like they were just last week. I wake up and briefly think I'm in a bed in a house I haven't slept in for six years. I see the back of someone's head – they look familiar but disappear around a corner just as I realize it can't possibly be who I think it is; who I wish it was.
I tug at the threads of my memories and they collide, piling up in a jumble, again and again.
Yesterday I went to Staples to print a copy of my manuscript. It wasn't very busy, so I waited, cruising the aisles and picking up a new notebook, a stack of post-it notes, a pack of pens. There's something ritualistic about stocking up on office supplies as I prepare to dig deep into a new project. After ten minutes, the girl behind the desk at the copy centre called to me down the notebook aisle: "It's ready!" I paid for my projects, new and old, and as she passed my book across the counter, the cashier patted it and said, "Good luck!"
Over on the couch, in my newly designated knitting spot, I stitch away at my current sweater project while watching reruns. After having abandoned three different grey sweaters three Februaries in a row, I'm feeling pleased with my choice of this cheerful heathered blue. There's colourwork ahead, in a week or two; yellows and greens that will evoke the colours that are appearing outside as I knit away inside. It pleases me when I achieve that sort of knitterly synchronicity. After three years of crafting six months out of season, I'm happy to be finding a new rhythm.
And so it goes. Tea and toast; knitting and writing; walking and watching. The sun comes up a little earlier each morning, and goes down a little later each night. Lions and lambs await their turn.