These are the ways back that I know

They say to write what you know. Well, this is what I know.

I know that when you're driving through a squall in the snowbelt and the sun comes out of its cloud cave in a miraculous break from hibernation, when the sky bleeds blue like October, it feels like you're sitting behind the wheel wearing a silk tulle veil, like you're driving down the aisle and not the freeway. You blink to catch your eyes in their tricks, but they are telling the truth about the sunlight and bright blue and the snow disguised as fabric.

I also know how tired she must have been to have fallen asleep in the cart, resting her pink-fleece-covered head on my arm as I hunched over the handle, picking over the fontina and brie, handicapped by her slumber but not the slightest ounce inconvenienced by the forced one-arm maneuvering. And then I knew, when I carried her out with one arm, pushing the cart with the other, that these might be lasts. Both for her to fall asleep in my arms and to carry her with just one arm. How heavy she'd grown as you hope any four year old will. But I didn't feel weighed down. Just the opposite.

I felt light, actually. And I saw it, too, the light, the kind that makes the bare branched trees squint, the kind that makes me believe on a 10-degree day that spring is not a pipe dream, that it is possible to survive a dark and tasteless winter, that the gray and heavy will not be my undoing.

There are ways to survive. There are little-known ways back to the warmth and the light. Through a sunny snow squall or a grocery store nap--these are some of the ways back that I know. And I'm sure there are many more.

But this is what I know.
(So I write about it. Just doing as I'm told.)


What are the ways back that you know? How do you survive dreary and gray and cold? (Besides moving to Florida. Because that's not one I'm in a position to try right now.)

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