Monday, 1 March 2010

February is the hardest month


The first day of March is a shock. February, for all it's the shortest month, seemed eternal. An even greater shock is today's blue sky. February is the hardest month. The British winter isn't cold or long, compared with many, but yegods it's grey! This year especially: the grey skies low over rain and snow and death. Like four months shut inside a low-ceilinged room with the curtains drawn.  The sky's grey has been just the grey of those inert plastic curtain linings that bar the light in the bedrooms of soulless chain hotels, and suddenly today the curtains are swished back.

So, blinking, noticing in the new light that this was a season of getting older. I've noticed before that I don't age gradually, but chug along for years much the same, then a shuddering shock and abrupt tipping over into older, falling into new folds of inelastic flesh. This winter I tipped. Daft to take aging personally, and on the whole I don't. But I could wish it was a steady, gradual shift, not these sudden falls. It wouldn't be this way, perhaps, if I wasn't so clenched against life.

Time for a bit more sunshine!

11 comments:

Jan said...

Yup, I hear you. We're all in the same boat.

Stray said...

It has been blissfully non-grey here. Snow on the ground right through since the 17th December, the sun is fierce reflecting on it today.

Cold and crisp and knee deep in snow most of this winter, but very little grey, and we are all breathing a sign of relief at having got away with it this year.

Sorry you didn't. I hear the rain / drizzle / rain / drizzle has been pretty relentless down south.

leslee said...

Well put about the shower-curtain-lining gray. We had a lot of that lately here in Boston, where we usually do get plenty of blue skies along with our cold and snow.

As for the suddenness (and accompanying disbelief) of aging - I hear you.

Fire Bird said...

1st March often brings sunshine I've noticed, giving the illusion that there could be some connection between our human notion of the calendar, and weather/ beginnings of spring...

alembic said...

It's been grey skies here too, in normally sunny California. Which had me thinking that perhaps the sudden "tipping" into old age has to do with those skies blunting life and enthusiasm and cheer (all those youthful things) for so long that when the sun finally lifts the curtain, the weariness of having gone through yet another blunting takes it toll.

Dick said...

You're getting it the wrong way round, Jean. As one with some years on you and then some, I woke up to the blue and the light this morning and felt just a little frisson of renewal. Spring awaits: try harder!

Dale said...

I love watching the people I love get older: it's illuminating. Every time I see a familiar face or body become different, I realize where some of those funny-looking old people that used to perplex me must have come from. I can trace the progress, I can see them now both as they are and as they were. It is for me a process of demystification.

Having said all that, I will also place my bets that you'd look as gorgeous to me as ever :-)

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

I hear you too!

Very nice new blog design, Jean.

Sky said...

sounds like a pacific nw winter! i, too, gained a couple of lines on the face this year. i blame mine on major surgery and hormones! from the appearance of these lines it seems frowning may have contributed! perhaps i need an attitude adjustment.

Melinda said...

In January of 1998 we arrived in California after two years in the UK. In the middle of what turned out to have been the longest period of continuous rainfall in human memory (for the area). Amid reports of mudslides there were also incidents of so-called "rain rage". I, however, was ecstatic over the weather. Why? Because the sky was a lovely, luminous dove grey - instead of the dull dishwater grey to which had not become accustomed to in (the otherwise fascinating & at times beautiful) England.

Lucy said...

Just a few celandine out today - so few and so late, and some speedwell among the grass. I berate myself for all the years I took those things for granted, or gave them just a quick nod. And I felt properly for the first time that something had lifted inside too, though I'm taking nothing for granted.

An unkind winter and ageing, hormones struggling to keep on the level, not a good combination. But I resist the idea I should look for some way to escape it, though it is sapping. I feel I must try to learn from it if I can.

Your new photo is lovely, I like seeing you full-face like that.