The ship of this not quite so ancient mariner has arrived in the quiet eddies of the "in between time". Old Man winter has grown tiresome. He was late arriving to begin with and sulked through January, summoning up only a few feeble signs wintertide. And now it's February. It's time for winter to just give up and go, but he won't of course. He'll drag the anchor.
Unwanted, unwelcome yet predictable, this annual sojourn in the doldrums always appears on my itinerary February. Now one would think that such regularity would give rise to highly effective coping strategies, or even better yet a calculated manoeuvre to avoid this navigational hazard, but no. This vintage mariner, (not ancient but maybe a tad forgetful?), charts the same course every year: smile and wave at the Candlemas Day lighthouse on February 2, take a quick dip in the pool of joy and warmth amongst the Valentine hearts and flowers, and then...
"Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, no breath no motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean."
from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Ah but this is no dark place. Along the great wheel of the year, February is an In-Between month - it begins at the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox (Brigit's Day) and ends at the very edge of Spring. And the light is returning - at a rate of almost 3 minutes a day!
I am not lost, I know where I am. I know that soon the winds will pick up and I'll be on my way again under full sail. In the mean time, I'll sit up on deck and befriend the calm, smile at winter's last gasps, and await the freshening breeze. I know what's coming...
©2016 April Hoeller