Shark Girl is not happy to be where it is snowing. Just last week I was in 80 degree weather sporting a bathing suit. If you don’t believe me, check out my new profile pic. Yes, those of you who know Shark Girl know that I am all about the sun. I’m not quite sure why I live here in the Northeast. Nothing is right to me in winter. That’s one of the reasons I started jiu jitsu—if I had to fight three nights a week maybe I wouldn’t realize that I was freezing my ass off.
It worked for a while, especially last year. But this year I am again aware that the cold, dark land has taken me prisoner, making me yearn for the freedom of spring. Husband would scold me right now. We need both dark and light to be whole, Husband would say in his ministerial way. Winter is a time for reflection. He’s right, I know he is. Just as we need night to recover from a long day, winter serves its purpose. But that purpose for me is hibernation, and unfortunately I can’t hibernate through my job in winter. During winter I need even more energy and spirit to motivate my students (many of whom may be hibernating as well).
Even if our modern world refuses to let me hibernate, I try as much as I can. Pajamas go on some nights as early as 4 PM. Some weekend days they never come off. Who needs to leave the house when there’s pancake mix in the pantry? I would make a good bear.
Hibernation periods give me time to reflect on what I have learned, internalize it, make it my own. Last week in Florida I did no jiu jitsu. However, I did raise eyebrows in the hotel fitness center when I pulled out the portable mat and practiced somersaults, forward and back. I suck at somersaults. Maybe I’ll get better if I practice them on my own hibernation time, instead of in front of the whole class, nervous that I’m going to totally flop my roll. Oh, look at that almost-blue belt—she can’t even do a forward roll!! Let’s all laugh loudly at her! That’s what they would say. Right now in my head I am gustily going through my side escape procedure with the vain hope that perhaps it will finally click.
Back from my trip, I notice more light in the morning when I wake up, more light in the evening when I retrieve Son #1 from tae kwon do. This means my hibernation will soon be over. Hooray! Yesterday I went for a glorious run and luxuriated in the rays. They were meager compared to last week’s Florida sunshine, but hey, I’ll take ‘em. I know spring will be here soon.