It’s Beginning to Look a Lot

It feels as if winter arrived overnight, when I wasn’t paying attention. I remember arriving back in the US in mid-November and feeling, as much as anything, surprised that it wasn’t colder and darker. Certainly, the days immediately following my return seemed surprisingly sunny, even with a crispness in the air. It added to my sense of disorientation, every time I stepped outside the house.

And then, unexpectedly suddenly, I was waking up to see frost on the roofs of the houses across the street, and freezing fog hiding everything past the end of the block. The air outside the bedclothes felt sharp and uninviting, and I started making the traditional winter deals with myself after waking up in the morning: I know I probably need to get up to piss, but if I get to stay under the warm covers, then I’ll do anything, I promise…

As much as it felt like the weather was cycling through the same catch-up routine I was moving through — shit, it’s almost December already, we’re supposed to have done stuff by now— there was a distinct sense of comfort in the change, as if everything was finally settling into some kind of place, some semblance of order, after literal months of upheaval and quiet chaos. I’d gone weeks (months!) of exploring new things and moving through new places, and finally I’d arrived somewhere where I knew the emotional landmarks and furniture.

This might just be me, of course, this happiness and cozy affection for the start of winter, with the shorter days and the colder weather. I’ve often claimed it’s because I’m an October baby and therefore it’s my time, but that’s as likely superstition and nothing more. Whatever the reason, as the weather collapses down into freezing temperatures and the need for sweaters, hats, and heavy jackets, I’m feeling grateful and comfortable to feel at home for the first time in too long.

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