Time is a circle. It loops back on itself endlessly.
As I travel on its curved line, at times it seems to speed up like a racecar whipping through a turn, other times apparently slowing on a straightaway but really going ever faster in an endless loop around the track.
January is a discrete point on the circle. January is the rawness of chapped lips and dry skin, tender cheeks reddened by the wind. January is the mourning veil of snow and ice and dead leaves over earth. It is the great grief, the loss of the light. January is the frozen sap in the maple, the slowed-down life in leaf and blood.
January surprises me every year with its grayness, its slowness, its lifelessness. It surprises me that my body slows down, that winter seeps into my bones.
It should not surprise me, I know. I've been around this circle enough times to know, to anticipate its specific gravity. Long enough to know not to fight it but to sync up with (down into?) its slowed rhythm. To allow myself to sink into the couch with a blanket and a good book. To make endless batches of warm cookies to heat the house and warm the tummy. To let the kids pour a dozen, two dozen, tiny marshmallows from the package until the tiny circles of hot cocoa are filled in with white.
From this January vantage point on the circle, that shape seems to be all around me. Embroidered circles on a wet-felted piece hanging in my sewing-room window. An empty embroidery hoop, waiting to be filled. Circles of coiled, felted wool sweater scraps crammed together into a coaster/pin holder. Circles of turquoise in a nest of type. Swirls of Betz White's felted wool cupcake pincushions I made for Christmas. A sweet circle of blogging friends and neighbor friends to visit. And a circle of women writers I am eager to rejoin.
Finished projects, future projects, circles of promise. They remind me that this torpor I am feeling is just a brief, albeit recurring, stop on this sometimes crazy loop of life.