Bittersweet Winter Mornings & Their Longings

A little after waking, a furiously beautiful sunrise lit my little part of the world up. Red, red, red, as far as the eye could see. Fire on the horizon, exploding across the cottony clouds that spread west over the Pacific.

Some shivers, some cold toes, but it was worth heading out to stand on my balcony and marvel over nature, if even too briefly.

I’m reaching my winter tether’s end. My sanity is tattered, my resolve weakening.

I want Spring.

Living here, north of the 49th, winter days become as short as 8am to 4pm. When it is daylight, though, it’s often oblitered by grey and dreariness. When the sun does emerge in Vancouver between December and February, the first day is always an optically painful experience. The light! The light! Is blinding, boss! BLINDING.

But I’m bracing myself. Winter ain’t over yet, not by a long shot. It’s not even that the weather’s been that cold or that bad this year. It’s just that there’s a big difference between the light-from-4am-to-10pm days we get in June and July, with 18 hours of daylight, versus the miserly 8 -and-a-bit-hours we have now.

I am, indeed, seasonally affected.

And it affects me to my core. Existentially these days, I feel like I’m a giant, walking, talking Wistful Sigh.

With the new life that comes with spring’s arrival, so too do I come alive. I explode in giddy happiness. Cotton-candy streets of cherry blossoms and sweet aroma-filled warm spring nights complete me.

I love summer, but I prefer spring and fall. I’m not one for extremes. I like the middling seasons, when clothes are required, but not too many clothes.

Still I sit here with cold toes, flannel jammies, and a bittersweet longing for something, anything, springing to life.

I blame my stroll through the park courtyard yesterday, where I saw blossoming pussy willow trees. GASP! Evidence of spring!

It’s almost painful to have such powers of observation before the onslaught of new seasons, to see such evidence in its early stages.

Honestly, I find the tease almost insufferable. You show me this now, but I have two months to wait? Oh, cruel, cruel nature, you tease like no one else.

Kill me it does, and yet I wait. Toes tapping, nervously humming, but I’ll wait.

I’ll wait for bike rides careening through new-growth tree-canopied streets. I’ll wait for a sun that sets after dinner, warm enough to sit on a log for an hour or more, lost in a friendly conversation as fire falls into the ocean. I’ll wait for warm nights spent sleeping with nothing but a sheet, the smell of salt, herbs, and flowers on the breeze. I’ll wait for spring nights on the balcony with the barbecue blazing and a drink in hand, standing over fresh-planted aromatic herbs in flowerpots.

I’ll wait.

But today I’ll pull on my thick, warm boots, my down coat, and a scarf. I’ll bring my eye drops for tired eyes, take my vitamin D to fake my body out, and plan my breaks from work for when the skies part ever so slightly and a beam of sun breaks through.

Because I know, after nightfall, a week of rain is blowing in off the Pacific, and the dreariness that’s only alluded to in the light greyness that is my present morning will soon explode upon us, and with that will arrive dark tumultuous clouds and winds that cut through lesser-than outerwear, and Vancouver’s therapists, travel agents, and tanning beds will have a boon of a week as those more well-moneyed than I will plan their means to momentarily escape the endless bleakness that tends to be a Vancouver winter.

Even though I saw pussy willows yesterday.

But I’ll wait.