Friday, November 20, 2009

(Winter) Whispers At My Door...

It was already fifty degrees when I drove to work this morning, an unseasonably warm temperature for mid (practically late) November in the Midwest.

When I think of November I picture leaves on the ground, snow in the air and a crisp wind that chills your bones as you scurry from place to place. November is the time to break out the thick sweaters and knee-high socks.

Scarves are needed.

Sandals are unthinkable.

Gloves are important.

Yet today I wore a skirt to work--with no nylons or tights, (gasp!) mind you. I didn't need them. All I needed was a light sweater, heels, and the warmth of my classroom space heater as I waited for my room to warm as the morning progressed.

Christmas music is already playing on one station (that I've discovered so far), and for once I'm not even really tempted to listen to it. It doesn't feel quite right, listening to Christmas music in a skirt and bare legs. Without gloves.

They say there will be snow in time for Thanksgiving. They say...

It's time for all of these things, but they aren't here. Everyday I look longingly at the shelf laden with sweaters and think, "Yes, soon will be a perfect day for a sweater...but it's not today" and I choose a skirt or another warm weather option, and try to appreciate such a warm, long autumn.


This school year I have been working to appreciate the present. Curtis and I may be moving at the end of this school year, and while the prospect of living closer to family is a welcome one, I am ever aware of what I would leave behind.

People will get married, students will graduate, children will be born, and grow and mature.

And I will miss it all.

And yet, I remember, I miss all those same things as I am away from home. These past eight years away from my family have been a constant exercise in appreciating what I have where I'm at--because without that focus I am left mourning what I am missing in whatever location I am not.

So even as I hear and think of events that may transpire after my departure, I try to choose the appropriate response for the time being: gratitude for the present.

And when winter finally arrives, as it inevitably does, I will appreciate the warmth of my sweaters as I shiver against the bitter cold.

*Visions of home...

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