Its been more gray than usual here in North Texas---- reminds me of the endless winters I spent as a kid on Long Island. February meant snow-- momentarily fresh---then quickly old, covered in the soot of car exhaust and tire tracks. February meant boots and cold toes and shivers and knitted hats and red noses and rosy cheeks. It meant coming in for hot chocolate of scalded milk and Ovaltine or the little packets of chocolate powder with tiny marshmallows. It meant chicken noodle soup and play time getting just a bit longer as winter kicked up its last hurrah. February meant back to ordinary time. Days of routine now that Christmas and New Year's were weeks behind us. February was the lull before the whimsy that is March. February is the time to get some work done.
Whatever New Year's resolutions we might have made and broken by now are fading into the 'good intentions' stack that gets larger and more cluttered like the back of my closet each year.
We need to have times between the highs and lows of the Christmas season and the lovely, rainy days of Spring. Time to get our rhythm back and settle in a little deeper to where we find the core of who we are, and hopefully, carefully, sometimes tediously, produce the work that has been waiting to be discovered and pried loose.
February is often the time when Lent begins, which itself is a time of reflection and preparation for Easter. February means days of deep reflection, without which we cannot hope to produce anything worthwhile.
Writing, at least writing where you have to drop down several levels and dig around in the dark places to find some gems, is hard work. It is contemplative work. We need to be able to step into places that are not always comfortable and safe. We cannot live the whole year in a February state of mind, but I am grateful for these quieter days where the weather and the ordinariness ready me for the soul's work of what I have decided to devote my time to.