(Image description: Scenic view at Saint Gaudens National Historic Park. Blue sky with fluffy white clouds, Mount Ascutney in the background. Aspet to the right and Pan statue with giant elephant ear plants in the foreground.)


i. The turn of the calendar from the ending of one month to the beginning of another. The cycles of death and rebirth. The change from one month of hardships to a new month full of potential. That brief moment of relief that I’ve somehow “made it.” This month I made it through sexual harassment at work, which is frustrating and do we really have to put up with this in 2022? Yes, we do and I’m exhausted from the fragility of old white men. Then, the death of my babydog, Patches. She’s been with us fourteen years. Half of our marriage. She died in my arms, just like mom and grandma. She died the day before the sixteenth death anniversary of Uncle Ed, which was also the US Pluto return. And then, Putin invaded Ukraine. We are all Slovak on mom’s side, so it hits different, this war. One moment there is life and breath and the next moment the breathing ceases. I have cried nonstop hot tears. My house is so quiet without her big energy. But this is supposed to be about anticipation…what am I looking forward to? Right now: nothing.

ii. I will keep trying though. Daylight Savings Time ending. Yes. This. But does it truly give us anything except another fake and false thing on top of all the other things these days? It doesn’t give us more daylight, that already happens. Illusions.

iii. Maybe before I can figure out what I’m looking forward to, maybe I need to ask why I feel like there is nothing ahead for me to be excited about? Eighteen months here and there really hasn’t been much forward movement. It feels like a holding pattern. I’ve tried to lean into the season of dormancy, of fallow, of darkness. I was supposed to be nourished in this time and instead I feel stripped bare and raw. Or maybe that’s just the grief. I didn’t feel this vulnerable before Patches died. The vet called and her ashes are ready and I’m supposed to pick them up on Thursday. Since she was with me from the first time I picked up a paintbrush, I will paint her ashes into a painting and maybe her energy will fill the house again.

iv. I am looking forward to spring. Green grass, daffodils, tulips, warm sun, being outside with blue skies, having backyard fires, opening the windows in the house, the smell of the earth. Black dirt. Turkeys having babies, longer days, warmer days, green leaves on tress, green grass. Getting the grill out. It feels like spring will never arrive. I’ve never had such a hard time with winter but this year feels like it has been winter for twenty years.

v. My 50th birthday, two days after spring solstice. My new year. But am I really looking forward to it? I feel like if I look forward to it, I will be disappointed. If I don’t look forward to it, I will be disappointed. And I’ll be at work. Outside of my home. I don’t think I like this job, but it serves a purpose and it could be a lot worse, so I’m trying to not swim in the depression of failure that I had to go out and get a job instead of working from home like I have for decades.

vi. Can I even look out on the calendar further than a month. No. Not right now. Is this what living in the present, in the now, is supposed to feel like? Somehow I thought I would feel better about it. I’ve been thinking since we moved here (in August of 2020) that I don’t have dreams anymore. I don’t have a passion that drives me. After the breast cancer, surgery and almost dying from covid before we knew what covid was, I just don’t even know anymore.

vii. ugh.

viii. MAKE something. Figure it out. I called a woman I met who owns horses and asked if I could come visit the horses. Hang out in the barn with them. Groom them. Feel their breath on my cheek. Be in coherence with their hearts. I need this.

ix. Phil says we will focus this year on making our backyard our sanctuary. We will put up fence, which means we will get a horse, I think. We will make it the place where we want to be and the place that makes us want to stay.

x. I am looking forward to feeling better. soon. soon.

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