I am restless as I lie awake in the cold night, cat purring on my shoulder, the dog pressed against me both seeking warmth, a mutual yearning. I turn on the light and after a few minutes the cat does her best to knock the book from my hands, the dog in his own way kisses my face and slams his body against me, rolling like he does into the snow drifts. I tell them I love them, I express gratitude for their friendship, they tell me Hey Lady Lights OUT! I respond, guys I ain’t no lady. They just lie down beside me, purring and grunting in turn.
I try to press my will up on the universe. I am wide eyed in all this darkness, but no matter how hard I push, the universe does not yield to my pleading. In all its vastness, my loneliness and yearning is but a dust mote, it does not even register. So I am here waiting for my voiceless desires to be met.
I am still snow shoeing in the clipper whipped woods, the snow falling in great flakes as my cheeks ache from both the cold and the smiling. But I feel nothing but the warmth of new friendship, the warmth of delicious hot tea as it soothes my aching vocal chords. I am more quiet than I normally would be and in the darkness I find myself wondering if somehow I could have said more. The time passed so quickly I hardly notice it and I want for more of the good company. And even though I wish I had said more I know that my curio cabinet heart, the real one, was wide open, deeply revealed, I couldn’t have been any more myself, the question is was it lost on my surreal companion whose very words echoed so many of my own sentiments, a flavor both familiar and completely new.
It is day now, and a long sleepless night weighs heavy on my eyes. I take my body outside to clear away snow, to inhale the fresh air that I am convinced will clear my mucus filled voice. My silence is broken only by the coughing and the spitting into the snow as I work to clear the high pile of heavy ice at the end of the driveway. And now at last in this cold my mind joins up with its host and I am completely here in this moment. It has already been long and difficult this winter, but as the sun clears through the clouds and my heart beats soundly in my chest I feel warm inside my boots. And cozy.