Leap years are great. Who doesn't love an extra day? This time of year has always been one of my favorites. Winter still feels cozy. Fresh fluff is welcomed with open arms. Everything is visually softer. The mounds of snow cushion the landing--whatever your eyes are falling on. Winter is lived in, not crispy fresh, but turned over and over; settled in, relaxed, and not going anywhere anytime soon. Tire tracks crackle brown snow over white, a steady stream of snow boulders make a promenade of the alley, lively snow families distinguish the lucky yards, planks of snow curl off the roofs here and there. There seems to be a universe for the snow itself. No flake or formation exactly like its neighbor, but they're comfortable enough living side by side.
Winter isn't the best time of year for lots of folks. I was fairly concerned when we moved up here about how we'd survive the long, dark winters. It's been the least of the transitions, though. Not one of us has struggled with it. We do candles, sometimes real, but the pretty plug in candles are always, always on from October at the latest until at least March. We do vitamin D, which makes a significant difference. We exercise and eat root vegetables and get fresh air. It all matters.
Knowing that in a couple of weeks I'll likely be in a completely different frame of mind is making me sink into the coziness as deeply as I can. I'm already starting to feel the pull toward a late winter clean and purge. For now, though, mid-February is giving me the warm embrace that I'm so used to now.
That little recharge of rest to push me through the later and sometimes more tiresome weeks of winter. But it's okay. I play tricks on my mind in March that keep it happy and ticking. These are the perks, I think, of having lived with yourself long enough to know your quirks and weaknesses. You know when to pat your own head and say, "there, there," and when to give your self a rousing talking to. In March, I am my own leprechaun. For now, though, I'm keeping things as soft as a snow bank.