The house is cold tonight. Even under the weight of my favorite fur blanket and with my fuzzy puppy snoring by my side, I feel the cold through my pink plush socks. My feet bear the brunt of cold it seems. I can feel the coolness in the air around me, but my fingers on the keys are comfortable and I feel a surprising internal warmth.
It’s funny because this peripheral cold is what I prefer in the summer as well, which explains my need to avert any and all vents from pointing at me when I enter a vehicle.
Tonight, I know this cold is a precursor to even cooler temps that will come in February. I also know it means more days like today when the sun catches the dusting of snow that lingers on the trees and makes them sparkle in such a way that it seems plausible that a mysterious artist painted them with glitter overnight.
Perhaps, I’m eager to welcome the cold and the quiet because it’s such a contrast to the cacophony of thoughts and ideas I have rattling around my mind:
- Yesterday – a Snow Day – I was warmed by the laughter that spilled from my son’s smiling face as we read together, repeated our favorite lines and celebrating misspoken phrases as new inside jokes for our family.
- I think of my daughter’s sweet stoicism as she shared her thoughts about what looks like recurrence of Alopecia Areata, which first entered her life two years ago when she was in Kindergarten.
- My thoughts drift to a darling third grader in my Girl Scout troop who told me today that she understands that her mom wants to lose weight this year, but what she doesn’t understand is why. “She’s perfect just the way she is,” she said smiling.
- A student shares a poem – a story of hurt and hope – with me and I remember why this job is so important and so difficult.
- “Mrs. Cornwell, do you know what wild dogs are called?” she asks. “I think so,” I offer, hoping not to steal her thunder. The seriousness of her expression and tone makes it all the more hilarious and adorable as she deadpans, “I think they’re called bingos.”
These thoughts collide. Some fracture into new, different and beautiful creations all unique unto themselves, while some are absorbed in other ideas – old and new. It happens until there is no choice, but to write. To sit in a cold, quiet house thinking and writing because you can’t let the sound of the Christmas dish that shattered on the floor this morning go unrecorded, unacknowledged,
Because you know that when something shatters, it is the loss of something you once knew and perhaps even loved, but also the beginning of something else – a new mosaic, words fitted and pieced together. The shards are sharp and scattered. So you sweep them back together and you listen to the soft whirr, clinking and clanging – all parts of an unplanned melody as they are swept away…together.