Saturday, February 23, 2013

February Chill

Photo by Kathleen Tyler Conklin

My friend Cindy remarked that she thought February was the dreariest month of all.  I always gave that award to January in my childhood, because not much exciting happened in that month.  For me, February brought Valentine's Day, two school holidays and the most egotistical turn on of them all---my birthday.  Even something happened during Lent (which often began in February)---ashy foreheads, meatless meals and church rituals , which strangely managed to enliven the routine of dull January days. 

However, I notice that my "special" day in February isn't quite the fun event it used to be because I have to now celebrate it in the chilly environs of "elderhood".  Friends, food and wine do warm things up a bit, but I know as I swallow the last piece of birthday cake, it will be time to face again one of the major tasks of my mounting maturity---the dreaded downsizing. I'm working on it slowly, as are many of my friends. The angst of it all inspired me to write a poem.  Take a moment to chill out and read it.




Sorting, tossing, throwing.

Investing in divesting.

Memories circle, whirl into piles on the floor.

Regrets, remorse sail into garbage bags...  puffing out

with projects not completed.

Brittle papers cackle…testifying to procrastination.

The ceremony of divestiture, sad but cathartic

surrendering a lifetime of debris

in a solemn procession to the curb.



  1. Excellent poem...and happy birthday!

  2. Thanks for this wonderful poem, Claire; I've always been a tosser, since childhood. Don't know why, but never liked to have too much around. When I cleaned out my packrat father's cellar, garage and attic after literally 50 years of 'putting things by,' he was initially freaked. But we talked about every single thing before deciding its fate, and in the end he gave me permission to toss nearly everything (we filled a dumpster nearly as long as our driveway and five feet high). When we were finished, and he wandered through the now nearly empty cellar, garage and attic, he turned to me, shocked, and said, smiling, "I feel so much lighter." So I hope you feel light and free, and that you have an absolutely wonderful birthday!

  3. I'm still in process...but hope to find light and free at the end of the tunnel.
    Thanks for the Birthday wishes...although gray and rainy, is has been fizzing along with bright, warm conversations and greetings from friends and family.

  4. Wonderful poem you wrote, Ms. H. Did you find the light at the end of the tunnel? Hope so. :-) *hugs*