Mid-January is a strange, unpredictable time of year. Right now we are all freaking out because there is a possibility of snow late Saturday night. I just received an automated phone call from the town manager of Black Mountain alerting me to the upcoming storm in case I have been in a come for the past few days and haven’t seen the news. I have plenty of coffee, pasta, and canned tomatoes at the house so I don’t need to make an Ingles run, but my guess is that the milk, bread, and toilet paper are already cleared out.
Forty years ago on January 14 I was making plans for the birth of my third son the following day. It was clear and sunny and warm in the way Charlotte winters are warm. however the morning of my scheduled c-section dawned dark and stormy. There was already a foot of snow on the ground and several hills to surmount before we arrived at Memorial Hospital. Luckily my ex knew how to drive in snow. The journey was scary and I wondered if the doctor was skidding around like we were. but when we got there, the doctors were also there and ready. I received the epidural but was wide awake when the doctor reached behind the curtain set up between me and my slit open belly and held up the new baby. “Yes, ma’am,” he crowed. “It’s a girl!” Surprise!
So my baby girl, born on the same day as Dr. King is part of a group of folks in Asheville planning a day of service in honor of Dr. King on Monday. Who knows if this will happen, though, because if the snow comes in hard, we will be stuck at home on Monday. There is so much confusion and uncertainty.
A big part of my confusion is that the eye doctor changed my prescription, but when the new lenses came in a week or so ago, the prescription was wrong and I can’t read with the new lenses. It’s so disorienting not to be able to see clearly! Luckily I have some old glasses that allow me the ability to read but not clearly. New lenses are coming but not soon enough. Also, my car is in the shop awaiting a part and I have to rely on my daughter to drive me around.
We are in that in-between time post holiday busyness and at the beginning of the long winter quiet that follows it. A character in a book I am reading describes February as the longest month of the year. In my mind, though, February starts sometime after New Year and ends in the Spring. That’s why it feels so long to me.
I am grateful for the plants in the shop that offer green tranquility. My amaryllises are still flowering, and I have brought in Hyacinths and Primroses adding color to the drab time of year. It’s just the beginning of a long winter, and I must come up with some projects to spark my enthusiasm or I will surely go crazy. Suggestions?