In Celtic time keeping, the year was divided into a light half and a dark half, as were months. The light half corresponds with long days and the waxing moon, the dark half with the waning moon and shorter days.
We’re sneaking up on the dark half of the year now, and I’m beginning to be afraid. I haven’t talked a lot about myself on here lately, sticking to the lighter side (ha) of farming. But I’m disabled by chronic pain that isn’t arthritis, or at least mostly isn’t arthritis, but acts like it nonetheless. While part of me is happy to see fall rains roll in, another part is terrified because cold and wet are for me a recipe for misery.
I spend most of the winter huddled under an electric blanket, brain foggy from opiate painkillers, desperate for a little relief from the rivers of pain running through me. While I still get out and do chores, they cost me more and more as the days get shorter and colder. They get done at the expense of getting out to see my friends, of joining my husband for grocery shopping, of all the little miscellaneous chores that would take me away from my nest of blankets. Farming can be hard work at the best of times, but in fall and winter it’s brutal for me. By the time we get to the coldest days of January and February whatever reserves of energy I had are long gone and I’m getting by on stubbornness and pride.
There’s reason to hope this year since I’m trying a new drug, but as the equinox gets closer I’m still filled with dread and longing for April when things start to get good again. The dread is what gets to me after a while, until the first really miserable day is something of a relief.
I’m trying to think of a hopeful note to end this on, and failing. My only certainty is that spring will come, and summer after it. Lambs and kids will come, chicks will come, and perhaps piglets a couple months later. The wheel of life rolls on as it does every year. I just wish I weren’t in tune with it in such a spectacularly miserable fashion.