Cut off shorts already in American Eagle. Bikinis in Aeropostale. Sandals in Charlotte Russe–all efforts to catapult us into spring well before it appears, to get us thinking about spring break and breaches and sun that burns hot enough to shatter the ice in the air.
I am more than ready, though this winter, admittedly, is mild and I have nothing as a Midwesterner to complain about. No sub-zero stretches, no piled up snow to plow through or get stuck in, no filthy stacks of ice crusted snow shoved from parking lots that don’t melt until March.
And the semester has just begun. I’m not supposed to even begin thinking about spring break until at least a month from now, when the freshness of the semester has gone stale and crisply sharpened pencils no longer send me to a happy place.
Monday, on the first day of classes, a colleague called out in the stairwell to a cluster of us who were trudging up to classes, “Only fifteen and a half more weeks!” I thought that a bad attitude then, and still do, despite my yearnings for eighth story condos along a stretch of Daytona, for talking for hours with friends that always feel comfortable, despite years away from Florida, for lying face down in warm sand, feeling the heat radiate.
Today it snowed, and oddly, given my wistfulness about spring, that event was something to delight in. I welcomed the peacefulness of flakes faltering in the sky, the cleanness of this stubbled barren ground swept with snow. Maybe what I really want is change, something to renew my life, nudge it in another direction. January and February are stagnant months, listless and stubborn, and anything that breaks through their monotony and deadness is okay by me.