And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
-Joni Mitchell “Circle Game”
For such a short month, we sure manage to pack a lot into February.
Last week, Lola the neighbor lab and her small humans returned the suet she’d “borrowed” so the birds are back to feasting with a renewed sense of purpose. Dozens of sturdy little birds the color of tree bark with rose-colored foreheads and chests have spent many afternoons visiting my tree and the dead brown thistles and yarrow up on the hill. They bully my demure chickadees and push them out of the way instead of taking turns. As I thanked Lola’s children and reassured them that I wasn’t the type to hold a grudge, she eyed my frozen yard gnome next to the front door, no doubt plotting her next heist. I’ve accepted the fact that Lola thinks she lives on a commune with me. She doesn’t “get” boundaries. I guess that this is the best kind of dog to be if one happens to be a dog.
The full Snow Moon illuminated the woods for several night earlier this month, painting the landscape baby blue and casting long shadows. Springtime and cabin time seems a lifetime away in February. I think about all the projects that I hope to accomplish once the snow melts, adding items to the endless To Do list that runs through my head when I can’t sleep. I’m hoping that this will be the summer that I finally spend more time up there not only working, but playing. We’ll see.
We spent last weekend with old friends who have a cabin in the woods near Hayward. On Saturday, the man I live with skied his twenty-second Birkie while the man she lives with participated in the peaceful, more solitary sport of catching crappies. Meanwhile, my dear friend and I visited over long cups of good, strong coffee and talked. About our kids, mainly. They adopted their wee, dark-haired daughter a couple of years after both of ours joined our family and let me tell you, for couples who wait, adoption is super glue. The shared memories of those sweet babies with the plump starfish hands that we waited to mother bind us together. When we are together, the years fall away like snow because we remember it all. How good to have people in life with whom it is possible to be real and raw, honest and true. Friends who say, I remember, and I get it. All of it. I get you. Me too, friend. Me, too.
Life is a circle, like a dreamcatcher or a moon. And February may be cold, but today I am warm.