This morning I drove home through a rainbow and that is possibly the most hopeful thing I’ve said in 10 months.
It’s called a sun dog, and it happens when there’s ice in the air and several other atmospheric conditions are met. I was alone in the car after dropping Barnaby at school so there was no one to point it out to, though Luca passed me in his own car and looked at me weirdly because I was stopped in the road taking pictures of the sky – the rainbow was behind him. He couldn’t see it. I should have waved wildly to get him to stop and observe, but the moment passed too quickly, partly because that’s life and partly because he was already late for school and was moving pretty fast.
We are all fans of rainbows, right? Who doesn’t love a visible reminder that we need the drizzle to appreciate the sun?
Of course, there is such a thing as too much drizzle, no?
My new pair of wool leggings arrived yesterday and it’s entirely possible that I’ll be wearing these every one of the remaining days of winter. They are the warmest, most comfortable bottoms I have ever worn. Why take them off, but for laundry days? No one sees me but my family and the people at the local small grocery, and they are a forgiving bunch.
And in this white season where the cold is a live thing with a bitter heart, I need all the defense I can get. I need the fuzzy blanket, the ever-present cup of tea, the pink knitted wrap thing that goes around my head and neck that my friend Amanda has a name for but I forget it. I need the dog curled up on my foot and the quilt draped over my bouncy ball chair that I spend too many hours a day perched upon. I need the cats slinked across my lap and the mismatched gloves and the knitted band over my ears. I need all the warm.
Maybe I’ll even get another pair of these leggings, even though they cost more than a case of wine.
Barnaby’s parakeets have the right idea. They have discovered that if they perch on top of their wee heater instead of next to it, they can keep their feet extra warm. But it’s an awkward perch. They look as though they are about to fall but are embarrassed and so pretend nothing is out of the ordinary. They remind me of me when I used to go to places with other people. Remember going to places with other people? I was never very good at it and was almost certain to suffer several long moments of mortification when I said something awkward or dropped a crumbly muffin on someone’s shaggy carpet or misunderstood what a waiter was saying. I’d find myself freezing and smiling as though I had meant whatever snafu I’d just created, looking for all the world like a budgie perched awkwardly on a wee heater, as though this were how it was supposed to work and life was going beautifully, just beautifully.
Now that I think about it, it’s not always a bad thing, this social isolation experiment we find ourselves unwilling participants of.
The parakeets are completely distracting. They are chirpy, for one thing, and also have these routines I am trying and failing to discern the purpose. For example, one of them just shrieked at her partner, who danced along a perch, took a nibble of some seed, danced back to his mate, who shrieked again and again the poor boy performed his dance-nibble-dance. Back and forth, the same rhythm, the same steps, only to be admonished again and again. I want to tell him: “Try something different!” But I know he won’t listen. Also, there are limits to how much talking aloud one can do to the animals before notice is taken.
This is where we’re at, people.
How about you? How is your winter going?
Dearest b, I hope your winter is tolerable and occasionally shiny. Your word for next time is needle.