Memory is a blessing and a curse. As the days shorten and I dig out my warmer coats, hats and mittens, I find myself greeting each day with less than enthusiasm. And as snow makes it slippery to walk and drive, something akin to dread creeps in.
It’s not a dread based in present day reality, really. It’s dread remembering past winters and how long and miserable they become. It’s memory of times too cold to breathe, or walk, of my body stiffly and awkwardly shuffling from house to car, of that one year when a tumble down stairs led to an ankle break that didn’t heal right and just gets worse and worse with age. None of which is fair to these November days, which in and of themselves are not unbearably cold, are usually sunny, and have a crisp beauty all their own.
Memory can be a blessing or a curse, so when I find my mind turning towards the misery of winter, I stop and remind myself of all the things I love about November—the coziness, perfect weather to use the fireplace, a chance to snuggle with human and four legged friends, soups and hotdishes I love but don’t make all summer…much to love.
Why not, I ask myself, choose to remember the good parts? Why not set the dread aside and inhabit these days, this day, this hour, this moment? Those of us with the capacity to choose the stories we telling ourselves, about the weather or about any part of our life, could actually choose the ones that make us happy. Why not? Why not enhance our present day’s blessings with memories of yesterday’s?