A yearning for spring and pretty things.
A missive in which winter storms still pummel us, snow is piled high, language alludes me, and it feels as if spring will never come.
Sunday afternoon I’m propped up in bed again, I spend a lot of time propped up in this bed, the fan is running to give myself the illusion of solitude. Mom’s watching some DIY crafting thing upstairs and I can just about hear the tractor motor outside. Dad pushes snow. There is a lot of snow. Eight to twelve inches in the last 36 hours.
The dogs bark occasionally
Watching the snow come down in a fine, visible mist yesterday, I felt paralyzed in describing it. Heavy and thick weren’t working because the flakes themselves were so fine and, I found later, just as wet as mist. It came down fast and all-encompassing. Sometimes the wind picked up and dragged the flakes this way or that before they made their way to the ground. Sometimes they fell relatively straight.
The tops of the tall pines swayed.
Later in the day, the flakes grew a bit and the mist opened.
The Inuit have language for this, kanevcir, to get fine snow, the internet tells me, but that word doesn’t belong to me. Not only because it literally doesn’t belong to me as a non-Inuit person, but I can’t feel it in my body. I haven’t lived that language. The word, in itself, though I deeply appreciate that there is a word for such an experience, doesn’t create a knowing inside of me.
I suspect this is why identity is rooted in language and why it hurts so much to have it stripped away. It’s why colonizers stripped it away.
The ground, even more fully covered in snow, it feels like a long time before we will see gree. Before the first violet will poke its head up between the rocks outside the back door. Before I can plant those sunflower seeds I bought last spring.
Last month, wandering through Target just before Valentine’s day, I found a bunch of yellow daisies, on a shelf in the stationary aisle. Some lover decided against the purchase of flowers and instead bought a bundle of pens? Or a stack of multi-sized, pastel sticky notes? A journal.
I can respect this choice.
When I came upon the bunch, wrapped in plastic, its stems pointed at me, my chest, in fact. A sign maybe that this bunch was meant for me, but I was so confused by their presence I couldn’t process what I was seeing. I didn’t associate flowers with Target despite having walked by a cooler of them on my way in. And of course, they were out of place surrounded by sharpie markers, file folders, and date books.
I had actually forgotten entirely about Valentine’s. It was so out of context in my brain that I reached for the stems simply to know what I was looking at.
I turned them over and looked them in their faces, probably frowning. Then pleased. Delighted. I smelled them. I held them for a minute in my hand and considered buying them, but in the end, partly considering my financial situation, I decided they were a luxury I couldn’t afford and so I put them back on the shelf facing outward so that the next passerby might be drawn to their brightness and offer them a home for the rest of their short lives. I filled my arms with a ream of printer paper instead and left.
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