For several years it seems like I made the same phone call around the same time in February. One of my dearest friends is a therapist (wouldn’t you know I’d need a therapist on speed dial) and so our conversations went something like this:
Jen: Tonia, it’s Jen. How do you know when you’re depressed?
Tonia: Jen, it’s the weather. You call me every year at this time. You’ll feel better when the sun is out.
Have I mentioned that Tonia is absolutely the Yin to my Yang? (Okay, I don’t really know what that means, but she has always balanced me out.) And she knows that I don’t function in cloudy, cold weather.
This would be true of this winter. Every winter is the “winter of my discontent” but this year has been ridiculous. I have obsessed over the crummy weather. I have made a vow to never complain about heat, but I cannot deal with winter weather.
But the sun came out last weekend. And it was actually somewhat warm this week.
I don’t think I’ve seen my neighbors for about a year, it seems.
Kids were out playing kickball with parents in the cul-de-sac. Dogs were being walked further than the end of the yard. People were grilling out. I heard music and laughter.
I had a long conversation with Samuel, the 7 year old down the street, about where the bus drops the kids off in the afternoon and how Henry our dog must be a dalmation because he has spots even though they don’t really look like spots (Henry is not even an ounce dalmation) and how when he was 3 he had to go to the emergency room because he had asthma. It was exhilarating.
Emma invited herself into the neighbor’s house to play with their 3 year old, Meggie. And they didn’t seem to mind.
Now, today is cold and cloudy. But I know that spring is coming. I know it is. I’ve seen a glimpse.
This week also showed me a glimpse of how I want to live my life. Outside. With people. Talking to the neighbors and sharing life.
Being outside forces a sense of openness. And neighbors are not always the people you would hang out with – I mean, they’re kind of like family – you don’t really pick them. But you have to live with them. We’re lucky, we like our neighbors – it’s just a strange sense of a forced relationship.
But, this spring and summer, I hope we hang out a bit more with the neighbors. Live on the outside a little more.
Now, sunshine, you can return.