This morning the sun is shinning bright; we bundle up and make our way out to a quiet spot. It is still cold here, but Spring is whispering: her voice in the steady drips from gutters and rooftops. My family walks in single file down a well-worn path of snow; it is barely white but we still hear a faint crunch as our boots tread it. The children talk quietly, pointing out fallen trees and cooing birds. I am walking slowly, last in line. My husband walks before me leaving slushy prints, and I spend a few moments trying to walk in them, feeling such accomplishment when my feet fit just right. My children call to me, worried I am too far behind. It’s okay, I answer back, I’m here. As the words leave me I am flooded with images: faces of our dear ones who no longer have marks to leave in the snow. I feel a rush of panic white-wash me and find I am standing still, so far behind the others. But just then the wind rushes in, and the wind knows me. It slaps against me, so cold, and I am awake again. I look up as it makes its way to the trees; it pushes itself against them, and they bend towards me, they cover me. It is a moment to breathe, to hide, ground myself. Then it is gone. The sky is peering at me again, the sun is so bright, and I find myself squinting. I look down as my son comes to me, his tiny boots in the snow, his soft blue mitten in my hand. He doesn’t speak, but I hear him. The adventure is this way, and he leads me on.
I often find myself flitting between two seasons. I do happen to live in a State that seems to only bring winter and summer, with more of the first. There is no mild weather here; we are freezing cold to blazing hot, with only a handful of perfect days in between (those days where the warm, breezy afternoons make their way into a cool, breezy evenings…) But here and now it is mostly cold, always cold. I find myself feeling the same inside. There times where my head and heart are racing with words and ideas and it’s all I can do to keep up with them, but mostly I feel snowed in. The words are there but buried, and I can’t dig them up and place them in sentences.
But there has been a small break through, one word jotted down on the corner of some crumbled paper on my desk: core. My heart has been beating it through me all week, over and over; it courses along with my blood: core. Here, buried in snow, waiting for spring; here, where unending white blankets bring silence to all streets; here and now is the time to focus on the core.
The core of me: of my mind, my soul, my body.
Pablo Neruda: Give us this day orange daylight, and every day, and may mankind’s heart, and its clusters of fruit, be both bitter and sweet: irrepressible source of freshness, may it hold and protect the earth’s mysterious simplicity, and the perfect oneness of an orange. [from Ode to The Orange]
Dahlia Ravikovich: An orange did love | The man who ate it, | To its flayer it brought | Flesh for the teeth. | An orange, consumed | By the man who ate it, Invaded his skin | To the flesh beneath. [from The Love of an Orange]
Virginia Hamilton Adair: Your fingers pry the skin of a naval orange | Releasing tiny explosions of spicy oil… | Snows melt. The mountain silvers into many a stream. | The oranges are golden worlds in a dark dream. [from Peeling an Orange]
Me: The orange is like a When I eat this salad it’s like Blood oranges! They are like the blahblahblah ugh! This is a tasty salad is it a salad or just a vegetables side? I don’t even know. that I think you would like. You know how I like blood oranges! does anyone? I’m sort of obsessive. Is that annoying? I made this on a whim just be yourself, that’s right! and was so happy with the results. I think you’ll like it! you already said that. start over.