Yesterday, at the park, Grace and three friends climbed on top of one of the structures. I love this picture, love the winter branches, love the way their bodies are silhouetted against the sky. I love the physical mastery and confidence they demonstrated in climbing up, love the starkness with which they are outlined in the winter air, love the genuine friendship that is visible in the way they stand so close together.
This is such a sad time of year for me, with the dark days and the long nights and the heading into a long, cold winter. It is also a rich time of memories, thinking about seven years ago and my plunge into a darkness far deeper and more scary than any long November night. This weekend, also, we had brunch with a friend that I’ve known since I was seven. Grace is now seven. The interval between then and now feels eternal and vanishingly short.
So time collapses on itself, lately, and in moments I am aware of being a child, a depressed new mother, and myself, at the same time. I look at Grace and am amazed that she is the age I remember so clearly being, that she will have the same vivid, muscular memories of this time in her life that I have. I see both the colicky, screaming baby she was seven years ago and the woman she will be when she is 35, reflecting on being seven. It’s a hall of mirrors, really, this time of life: the past and the future distract me with their endless, slightly distorted reflections. And I struggle, as always, to be HERE. To live in the present tense, rather than letting myself be lost in then or someday.
So, back to here. The days are short. The nights are long. It’s cold and raw out, and today we broke out the parkas for the first time. I’ve been sleeping soundly this week, which is a lovely, surprising change. Still, I feel tired: I wonder if by starting to address the sleep debt I’ve somehow made myself more aware of it. I woke up this morning to the vague but pulsing sounds of Miley Cyrus coming from Grace’s room next door.
I’m sitting at my desk today, looking out my window, trying to bob peacefully on the swells in my mind rather than resist them. We are moving towards the solstice, again, time moving us, helpless, along its relentless arc. And there is still so much here I do not understand.