Breathing is important. This is not news to you since you are probably a mammal and breathe several hundred times every day. I have been taking breaths, but I have not been BREATHING for almost an entire season. You know, the kind of breathing that's required when you just have to get through something? Tight around the middle, head down, eyes squinted-just a few more of these and we'll be through this. My breaths have been short and quick, strong and forceful, shallow and spare for weeks.
I've been living in the worst kind of southern winter weather-bone cold, full of gloom and damp. When I'm old and gummed up with arthritis, I'm sure I'll think this winter was a cake-walk. My yankee friends who are conditioned for this kind of weather can rightfully scoff at my weakness. I realize most people assume winter will be cold, gloomy, wet, icy and blustery. They prepare with heavy coats, boots and thick socks. They have accessories that are made for industrial level cold and stacks of firewood. They are made of sterner stuff than me and I readily admit their superiority. I am not someone who can happily live in a winter climate for longer than a few days. I am just a little southerner, used to burst of frigid temps followed by sweet glimpses of sunshiney days. North Carolina has had at least 4 snows this year and probably 2 straight months of rain and clouds. I've just had my head down, accepting that part of being human is just having to breathe, you just have to move through the intolerable to get to the beautiful.
Saturday there was sun. I stood in it for a long while, loving the warm caress on the top of my head. Eyes closed. Breathing in. Spring is here. Life is good.