The end of winter wore hard on me. In the chilly gloom of March, I felt myself withering, drying up, losing elasticity. Like my garden, I need light and warmth to thrive.
This is just the way I'm built. Some may consider my intolerance of long winters a weakness, as I once did, but as I age, I'm trying to cast off unnecessary self-judgment. It seems reasonable to believe that becoming deeply glum after four months in darkness and cold is not the worst personal flaw.
See, I'm a bustling, bubbly, merry extrovert but also a sensitive, stormy introvert. I have long walked that line.
I've worked hard to push my innate pessimism to the curb, harder still to quiet the anxieties that cause me to over-think, over-worry, overdo. The oppressive shroud of too-much-winter amplifies the noise from my tumultuous interior and makes tranquility elusive.
I recharge in solitude, in the quiet company of cooking and gardening, ideas and myself. I didn't realize just how true that was until I had children, nor did I understand the ways in which introversion can make being a parent that much more challenging. Especially if your children are not silent wallflowers. Especially when winter persists and solitude and time in the yard are harder to come by.
When darkness falls, outside and in, maintaining stasis in the delightful circus that is parenting my two spirited boys can feel Sisyphean. At times I lose perspective, fail to see their bright inner lights, struggle. The fear of being unable to meet multiple demands correctly and in a timely fashion teases up the anxiety lurking within; the two build on each other into a pulsing swarm.
It is unpleasant, tiring and disappointing, but fortunately, with time and spring, a wave of renewal comes and brings a soft cloth with which I wipe my cloudy eyes.
I spent most of yesterday and much of this morning clearing the detritus from my yard. It's dirty, sweaty work, and I never wish to be anywhere else. Out there, I thought again about what a powerful concept rebirth is. Of how parents sometimes need a reset to see both children and selves clearly. Of how the warm light of spring provides just that.