I remember in high school Latin class, the verb “to love” was the first verb that we learned to conjugate as we struggled to master those tricky declensions. In fact, I’m pretty sure that in every class for every language I’ve taken (Spanish, Latin, French), the verb “to love” was always in the top 5 “verbs to learn first”. “To love” is an easy one. Everyone knows what it means. Every foreign language teacher that I have had would inevitably start a class conversation surrounding our favorite things and we’d spend the class rattling off sayings like “j’taime croissant avec chocolat”. So here is a bit of a ode to the unromantic side of love; to the things that make me smile and keep me going the whole year round.
This winter has seemed to be so much colder than those of the recent past. Already we have had three significant snowfalls that have kept me close to the warmth of my radiator, knitting needles or novel in hand. This winter my bones ache in a way I have never before experienced. They ache with the memory of last February; impulses reverberate through my system as phantom pain, recalling what I have lost since then. I don’t remember if there was snow last winter. I remember the darkness that seemed to stretch from one end of the day to the other. Waking up in the dark to go to work, spending evenings in the darkness of the hospital room, driving home in the dark to fall into bed so late at night. Rinse and repeat. There seems to be so much brightness this winter. I am always in awe of how light the late night is when there is snow on the ground. The moon is reflected a million times over in each tiny snowflake prism and the world seems less formidable. Tufts of snow have settled on the Dogwood tree in the back yard, bringing to mind exploded bols of summer cotton. The winter sky is a more saturated, azure blue and the sunshine feels golden warm despite the crisp temperatures. I’ve been spending more time in the light of day, outside of the disinfectant smell of tiled hallways. Away from the consistent beeps of IV infusion pumps. There have been more days filled with pure joy that buoy me up, like a life preserver, through the unpleasant memories. I think the ache will persist for some time to come until it becomes so dull that it is just a hint.