This will be my third New England winter. I’ve been told my Rhode Island residents that no matter how long you’ve lived here, the cold is always shocking. I told my chiropractor’s receptionist that I really don’t do well with my pain in the winter. She said, “Honey, none of us do well in the winter!” I do love the snow when I’m not driving in it. I love the sound of the crackling fire in our fireplace. I love cancelled classes and even church services. But what I love most about the winter, is that the cold air forces me to stay inside. My desk faces a window, and is right next to the door that leads out to the driveway. In the summer, the warm breeze sifted through the screen in front of me and beckoned me to go outside. At first, my husband wondered why our storm door kept opening and closing, but soon, he got used to seeing me walk up and down our driveway, barefoot, humming, deep breathing. After a while, I gave in completely, and spent most of my afternoons out in the side yard, sitting on a stiff beach chair working my way through my graduate directed reading list, my toes wiggling in the warm grass, happy to be in the sun. Now, no more sun, no more bare feet. Now, clouds and socks. And best of all, a great reason to stay indoors and force my fingers to type. I do believe my characters are glad to have me back, giving them attention, watching them and listening to them.
Although it’s cold outside, today, my characters are at the pool, the cement burning their feet, rushing to get in the water. The boys are making fun of the young girl who is battling with the transition into womanhood, self conscious yet excited about her future of marriage and having babies. She will soon find out that being a woman is not easy. That sometimes, your body fails you. Sometimes, being a woman isn’t a ticket to a happy marriage and the opportunity to have children. Tough to write, but hopefully will be a good read.
Alright, Jane. I’m right here. Take the towel off. Get in the water.