Every year in October, I drag.
It’s harder to wake up; most mornings it feels like someone knocked me over the head with a brick the night before. The darkness is so complete at 6am!
It’s harder to push myself to put on jogging clothes, stretch, make sure I have the latest Slate Culture Gabfest podcast ready, and attack the many hills on my usual route.
It’s harder to come up with new ideas to entertain and stimulate an oppositional almost-four-year-old.
It’s harder to believe that any sort of political change will occur short of a bloody revolution or some kind of cyber warfare I’ll never understand.
Yesterday, I woke up, dazed and unnerved by the pouring rain and sudden, damp cold. I gravitated toward the kitchen, moving back and forth between the stove and butcher block (the same one we bought at a restaurant supply store on Bowery when Travis first moved in with me in 2002). Without planning it much, I soon occupied three burners, and the flames chased the chill out of the kitchen.
My body craved something hearty and strong. I started a pot of kasha and remembered the quince from a friend’s tree sitting on my countertop. Unsure of how tart it would make the kasha, I added some raisins and molasses to the brew. On the other two burners: black and garbanzo beans, ready to wake up after their sleepy night underwater. The black ones later became refried beans with a touch of chipotle, to be topped with spicy carrots in burritos. The garbanzos will go into a fall cabbage soup.
The cooking has helped. It feels like turning to and tending the hearth inside (I picture my stove as a massive stone fireplace). We have to make our own light and warmth to compensate for the disappearance of the sun.
The rest of yesterday, I was alone with Miles until bed time. He was more peaceful and less disagreeable. Me too. In between other tasks, I made him a tent, played CandyLand, took him to swimming lessons, and had him help cut onions for dinner. I successfully avoided his near constant requests to “play trains.”
This morning I decided the best way to acclimate to 45 degrees was to jog in it. As always, it was painful only before I started jogging and maybe for the first few minutes. Then it felt so good.