This time of year is said to come in like a lion. For me, it also floats by like a dream. Not a sweet day dream, but a real dream with mysteries, breaks from reality, and bits of magic. Time is manipulated in strange ways where normal tasks seem to take hours longer than they should, and my limbs move so slowly, as if through water. The pavement is constantly wet and shines like a strange river full of shifting light and color. Small lakes and rivers appear, and islands are created and then swallowed up. The light is a soft grey at its very brightest, but can easily be dark graphite in the middle of the afternoon. The bridges hang mist on their shoulders, and the soundtrack is the pitter patter of soft but insistent rain, the howling of the wind running around the corner of the house, or the urgent drumbeat of sudden downpours.
Caffeine contributes its own effects to this mental landscape as coffee, strong and black, is deployed in larger quantities both in an effort to wake up from the dream, and because there’s nothing quite so comforting as a heavy diner mug and its contents on a cold, wet day.
Conversations, friends, errands and other events drift in and out of focus, never seeming to stay on solid ground. Prudent 15 minute catnaps turn into 2 hour snoozes.
Fighting to wake up from the dream produces the same anxiety as trying to wake oneself from within a sleep dream. Screaming “wake up, wake up!” is useless. Maybe this is because the dreamy season isn’t a time to combat. Soon enough the sun will come back, and it will be time to shake off the blanket of hibernation and leap into action. The sunlight on green is a joyful time in the Pacific NW. For our actions to have a purpose, maybe we first need to soak ourselves in dreams. Slip into the water and see what’s slithering in the depths, and what rises to the surface. Discover the seeds of what our hearts cry out for, to be sown and tended when winter ends.