Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Saturday, April 19, 2008

On Nostalgia in Unlikely Places

One need not be a chamber to be haunted;
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.
-Emily Dickinson

It seems that I have hardly drawn a breath since everything was snow-covered and I could imagine nothing else.
I could conclude, in those days, that neighbours had come and gone- and who, for one of them used a walking stick that trailed clues like breadcrumbs. I remember minute tracks of a bird; watching a rabbit that flung soft snow in his haste to get to where he was going. I remember standing by our car and being astounded as the snow covered me up to my knees.
We could never plan any part of the future because for all we knew the next week would be blanketed too, and the one after that. We lived from day to day on borrowed films, our sagging shelves of books, new recipes.
Today I can feel the heat, see the sun streaming in through opened windows. The street outside our door is vibrant once again with the varied passing music of different kinds of people.
Everything is perfect.
Yet for all that, there is a deepening sense of loss that I cannot shake. Those months, cold and bleak and silent as they were, were my months, a significant portion of my time considering the utter briefness of life.
The act of moving on into a new era is always filled with trepidation and wariness of the unknown. The first time in a year that one can go for a walk, live without indoor heat and can have sunlight in the evening is indeed a new phase. Dazzling days, not cloudy ones; green instead of white, those are the signs that something important has been left behind.
As my Spouse and I pack up our blankets, our portable heater and numerous other signs of Winter, we do not know at all if we will use them again in this apartment. That makes me pause ever so slightly in my haste to banish the evidence of the coldest and cruelest months I have ever experienced.
I think about what I might have learned, and achieved, and what I made of that time; and I think that even the wet snow and the stinging wind just might, one day when I least expect it, become part of my wistful nostalgia.
In the meantime, of course, I will happily attempt to adjust to temperatures that are a full eighty degrees higher than they were two months ago.

No comments:

Please look around, explore my writing, leave a crumb:
I welcome comments and thoughts.