It’s mid-January. At a coffee shop this weekend I saw a sign that said “Only 9 and a half more weeks of winter,” and nearly cried. As a mammal, my hunch is to hibernate through the entire winter. Even as a kid I remember waking to my mother reciting her “we can get through it winter poem,” which goes something like “feel enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic! Man do I feel good.” I was supposed to recite it with her on the very coldest, gloomiest days of all, when the wind never stopped and the sky retained the gray morning dim all day, until four when it grew dark again.
But in L.A. I found the perpetual sunshine jarring. Standing barefoot on the front lawn, talking to my family over Thanksgiving our first year there, I had the sudden realization I was in the land of the Lotus, years passing without my knowledge, because it was eternally summer. And not just the warmth, but also the light—November light was the same as June. Farmer’s markets went on uninterrupted and avocados stayed in season and it was always impossible to believe another year had gone by.
Now the passage of time, a cold, stiff crawl, is almost painful in a new and different way. Which do I prefer? To fret on the time passing too swiftly, or cringe as it goes so slowly?
I guess I never can win.