A month has passed without an update to the blog. In December I'd been engaged in endless editing and writing for other things. Turning to the blog felt like nothing but a burden - which is not what it is meant to be. And January turned into a landscape of head and chest colds.
This past week was particularly frustrating, since it was the week of true winter. Nights near or below zero; days in the teens or low 20's. The ponds froze first, then the windswept lakes, and finally a few days ago, animals could walk across the frozen Pawcatuck river. In the woods over the wall, there are great swaths of swampy woods and fen that you can only walk during the true winter. Then the streams and bogs are iced over and you can crunch along the beaver trails through broken reeds and tufts of swamp cotton.
But I had a bug that filled my body with chill and exchanged all my will for apathy. Monica was in California traveling with her sisters and scattering her mother's ashes. I drove the boys where they needed to go and, if pressed, put in the occasional hour at work, but there was no venturing out into the bitter. It was a monkish cold too: little food, no coffee, no alcohol - but water and sleep and placid, indifferent meditation.
I've come out the other side, monkish still and phlegmy, but my apathy has ebbed. Too late. Temperatures have soared into the dreary 50's and all the hard ice has collapsed. All the swamp yankees, who bring forth onto the lakes their winter contraptions for those precious days -- go karts, snow mobiles, sail-sleds, fishing huts with awls and runners -- have put it all back into their sheds.