January. The month of hibernation. No, I'm not a bear who sleeps all winter but I do slumber all season in a way. Like a dream I'm inside my own head more, inside our house, contained from busying myself as much. Still, but learning. Quiet, but messages and signs become louder. Protected from the influence of worldly matters and living instead in the drama of our scurrying cats and energized dogs who chase them — they haven't had a walk in quite some time, two degrees weather doesn't suit that. I watch the fur-balls grow, collecting in corners of our kitchen, the floor cold beneath my toes.
We gather in a small upstairs room of the house, close the door, and turn on the heater. Even the other rooms of our house become the "outside world," and it becomes a chore to leave our warm sanctuary to use the bathroom — only the urge for coffee is a strong enough force to drag me to the unwelcoming downstairs level. The cats claim the vents, sitting upon them as if they are their own personal thrones, proudly smirking beneath their quivering fur dancing in the warm rising air.
Static, and more static. Every time we kiss we shock each other.
I heard they are canceling school because of the cold. How things have changed.
Sleeping is another matter. Itchy, dried out skin keeps me awake. Every inch of my body is dry. We end up on top of each other — two humans, two dogs, and two cats — sleeping like a pack of wolves. Simply turning from my left side to my right affects the whole group. We quickly get used to each other's breaths, sighs, and patterns.
The hot water never lasts long enough.
Yet, I wouldn't have it any other way. We rely on each other. Somehow it seems like this is necessary. We are building a closeness to ourselves and each other, our tight knit group that must be strong before the Spring. Days merge into one another as our activities are limited. My indoor uniform is the same pair of sweatpants that rarely get washed and you wear your red flannel. Still we are learning. The monotony allows me to see myself, set goals, become the person I want to be. It's an excuse for a reset button, a new year, a new beginning. I died my hair dark and you let your facial hair grow. Somehow it seems fitting. I love this season and what it allows us to become.