Cold weather factually is weather that just appears to not be warm. It can be quite cosy in fact. The judgement ensued upon it’s character in my history book began with the Donner party who stupidly thought they could cross the Rocky Mountains in wobbly wagons with a few snacks. Cold weather did not cause their demise, their gobbling each other up or their legacy which ended in a rather unsavoury fashion. I defend Mother Nature’s call, her warnings, her bell ringing from the roots beneath and above us. In Vermont they know how to prepare for the most part, again for the most part. In Sweden the old adage that there is “No bad weather, only bad clothing” is more or less true. Suffer or survive. Despite the dark winters and below zero temperatures or my severe arthritic flares in the cold weather I choose to embrace each flake that falls, remain poised in gratitude for it’s not my call to take cold weather personally. Firelit mornings and hot coffee spark my creativity and I write much more than in the summer. Not everyone can choose to flee to Florida or southern Spain to avoid being cold. I am bound to stick it out, add another sweater and refill my cup with awe.
For some unreasonable reason I continue to believe I am graceful; I was an awesome dancer and prancer in the not seemingly so long ago days. With my variety of ailments and chronic pain issues, including osteoporosis one would think I’d be crumbled up in a fragile porceline glop. After a diagnosis of Chronic Repetitive Pain II and being evaluated from head, shoulders knees and toes I began balance training. I am now hilariously throwing balls of socks in the air then trying to catch them, tripping over large objects in clear view and pathetically trying chair yoga. Two weeks prior to my hospitalization I quickly turned getting out of my claw foot bath tub and landed on a small wooden foot stool which factually kept my head from bashing into the hard cement tiled floor. Two or three ribs hit a corner of the stool leaving me sprawled out awkwardly, howling naked in blubbering shame. My family came running to see their gracious antelope needing immediate emergency treatment. Rushed to our local E.R. I was given fast acting morphine and sent for an MRI to be sure my lungs weren’t punctured. The results were nothing was broken but they did see I had severe arthritis in my left hip and a tiny crack about a centimeter long on one rib. No broken bones despite my skeletal fragility. The pain was gruesome so I can’t imagine what a really good breakage would be like. I do know now I need a new hip. Huh, go fissure!
Implementing change in any group from a small household to a village or town is not simplistic. Rock is adamant about what always improves one’s surroundings. Show genuine kindness and zip your mouth closed if you can’t be bothered with niceties. Communities involve humans who bounce energy off of one another; be polite and honest. If you leave an ill word in someone’s head it’s bound to repeat itself and reflect subconsciously onto another soul. The circle of love, peace and consideration grows when we all share the better parts of ourselves. If you can’t be good to others, shut up and stay home. You know Rock, he is always direct and solidifies his opinions much like you’d expect an old stoner to reply.
In Sweden there remains an old adage, likely it’s relevance stems from the agrarian roots implanted by the pagan community which ruled until Martin Luther decided to hang his hat here and get messy with religion. It is now March twenty-sixth, spring sprung backwards but our clocks leapt forward an hour. I rose the shade from my bed to see if it just might be a surprise of a sunny day only to see snow falling, the gardening spot blanketed white again. Yesterday was gray and rainy, the highlight of my weekend despite the weather was it being “Våffeldagen”. In keeping with the conflicting Christian and Pagen society that dominates this wildly confusing Viking Jesus mystery lies yet another story that complicates waffle day even more so. The origins in English are the annunciation of our blessed virgin Mary; in Swedish it’s “Jungfru Marie bebådelsedag” which is basically the celebration of the angel Gabriel flying down from the heavens to tell the virtuous and virgin Mary that she had a bun in the oven, a very special bun that would change the world. “Vårfru” means virgin Mary, however in some dialects in Sweden during the 1800’s, someone confused the historical “vaffla” (meaning waffle) with Vårfru (meaning virgin wife literally) and thus began a Swedish custom to eat waffles on this very delicate Christian holy day. Now, I was raised primarily in the “Bible Belt” and forced to church school and bible studies throughout my youth. I know Eve was some naked woman made from a rib and gave her man an apple and a serpent was involved. I know old southern spirituals, the ten commandments and some miniscule remnants of biblical “facts” are embalmed in this sixty year old brain. I know that we pretend to eat flesh and drink blood and what I received was grape juice and a paper thin cracker which felt like chewy notebook paper. Yet nowhere in my first sixteen years of obligatory studies was there any mention of Gabriels significant secret, waffles or more likely in my region a trip to The Cracker Barrel for a full plate of biscuits and gravy. Swedes get more vacation days for obscure Christian holy moments, literally days that evangelical bible belters know nothing about, and if they do know we get waffles, jam, whipped cream and berries for messenger Gabriel’s news I believe they just might start a campaign to close down Walmart and at least expect “Eggos”. Now, not only do we have this manic weather to live with, we also still celebrate the pagan holidays and no Christian complains as long as they don’t have to work. Personally, for my twentieth “7th Winter” and my twentieth “Waffle Day” I think a bloody Mary is more appropriate.
Life in my experience is not linear, predictable or predestined. The only thing we are certain of is, at sometime along our journey in this human form, we will cease to navigate in this world. We will leave others we love and discover something more perhaps, a new type of love, all knowing and gentle. I am not a religious person yet very spiritually inclined, linking arms with Nature, I feel the easiness of being when immersed in the depths of the forest or on a black stormy night with whipping winds and falling trees. I know I am not in control of anything and especially like that I am not directly responsible for how life is. I may die old old. Middle old, I am now young old. I’ve watched my animals throughout the sixty years I’ve lived bring me joy and sorrow as their tiny souls wrap around me with only one request, acceptance. Be it a dog, cat, bird, fish, rabbit or mouse they deliver us a message. Live in the present. Mice don’t lay around all day hoping someone will do the work for them! Carpe Diem! Seize the cheese. We all have inner work to do and most folks I know would much rather fix me or you than work on themselves. If you want to live drop the poison. Don’t gossip, find a way to see beauty in yourself and others and share your light. Never be afraid to love being you. Death is an end only if you allow it to be. As far as I know, I know nothing at all. Blessed Be
Quietly sleeping with both eyes open, wakening in the morning dew; carefully spying from where she’s hiding to spot her next move. Twinkle, twinkle little one, life is swift and just begun. Never certain if you’re safe, constant guardian of your space. Take a chance, make a move, forward we go with nothing to prove. Surrender yesterday and last year’s worries for the year of the rabbit brings us bountiful stories. Look around, sniff the air, feel the sunlight on you hare? In the moment, be and thrive rejoice for each day that you survive. Tiny steps or grand leaps and bounds the year ahead is still unfound. Year of the Rabbit, year of Hope, unwind your minds mental ropes. Listen more, and be present for those you love or meet whether in your home or on the street. Silence can be the best coach, mindfully change your approach. Hop along with grace not fear, embrace the morning of this new year.
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