In Spite Of

Today is March 14 and it is Pi Day, if you are into that. I am not, really. I am Team Cake all the way, there are few pies I truly love and none that I crave or insist upon. My husband is Team Pie, so it’s true what they say, that opposites attract, if you believe that the opposite of cake is pie, which it probably isn’t. In spite of this obvious difference in our psyches, on Friday we will have known each other exactly 30 years. We should probably celebrate with cake and with pie, to be fair.

Today it is also -2 degrees Celsius in Hamilton, with the windchill making it feel like -7 degrees Celsius. In spite of this, I am inside and the sun in beaming through my living room windows making it feel much warmer than it is. It’s lovely, honestly.

We moved the clocks ahead an hour on the weekend, so it’s incredibly dark now when I get up at 6am but in spite of this, I have been enjoying the quiet the dark provides in the early mornings. I have been enjoying sipping my tea with only the streetlights shining softly in the windows. I like the early mornings, in spite of myself. I never thought I’d be a morning person but here I am. To be fair I am a morning person who requires silence and a cup of strong tea and approximately one hour in which to be quiet before I can begin my day, so perhaps I am still a night owl whose hand has been forced by circumstances. And capitalism.

In spite of the fact that spring arrives in a week, it feels nothing like spring. At least ten centimetres of snow blanket the lawns and gardens, and massive piles of grey-black icy snow grace the street corners. It’s been a strange winter in southern Ontario but in spite of this, I walked the dog this morning through the quiet, dark streets and enjoyed the crisp cold air and the feeling that we two were the only ones up and about at 7am. Not true, of course, there were other people and their dogs, there were buses rolling by, several runners, etc. But until the light of the sun broke through, it felt at least a little bit like we had the place (the neighbourhood) to ourselves.

A headline told me Ontario has experienced the greyest winter in more than seven decades. In spite of that—or perhaps because of it—I’ve been savouring the sunny days, documenting the blue skies, and thrilling to the sounds of robins in the air. It feels so early for robins, but in spite of the cold and the snow, they are back in my part of the world. I have yet to see one, but my ears are attuned to their song, so I know.

Great Lakes and blue skies exist, persist. In spite of everything.

I have been off work the past two days—well today is the second day—because I’ve not been feeling well, and while I probably could have gone in today, I’m glad I didn’t. I am learning, finally, at the ripe old age of 56, to allow myself the opportunity to slow down when I need to. To take it easy or if not completely easy, at least easiER than I might have done last year or the year before or twenty years before. Yesterday was a day for sitting and drinking tea, for napping, and for staring into the middle distance and then napping again. In other words, it was a day to take care of my body. Today I am writing, I am reading, I am blogging, I am making food. Today, then, is a day to take care of my mind. I am still taking care of my body, I am listening to its signals, listening to what it needs, how it wants to be. My track record for this kind of thing has not been great, but I am learning. In spite of everything.

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