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Coping with life changes and enjoying the seasons

Winter in Virginia

My initial emotions when contemplating yet another life changing shift was equal parts anticipation and depression/anxiety. And probably, now that I think about it, quite naturally so. I did live in California for nearly 4 years (they did fly by) and built a life and a social network there. I pretty much upended my well sorted-out life and moved across the country to Virginia to start life all over. Again.

Setting up new home and a new studio space

The older I get, the more apprehensive I have become about building new relationships, and friendships, which are quite important to me. While I was an indiscriminate extrovert in my early years, I think I’ve come to appreciate quality over quantity now. I also find it much more difficult now. I still need and look for deeper connections and find it challenging because it’s becoming harder and rarer. And unlike people who live without social contact, I don’t do well without some form of physical and verbal connect with people. I need a hug once in a while, I need to exchange a few meaningful words and I need to form an emotional bond. I’ve recognized the fact that I don’t do well otherwise 🙂

Anyway, coming back to the positive side of things—I realized I was finally getting a chance to experience the seasons—definitely something to look forward to. In all my life in Bangalore (nearly a decade) and then four years in California, I’d forgotten that seasons exist in some parts of the world. I was even scared by well-meaning (or are they?) friends that I would not survive the harsh seasons, especially the winter. But survive, I have. And I even adapted so I could thrive better.

Enjoying a bit of cycling on the W&OD trail, very close to home now

Despite some initial hesitation, I went running in the snow and ventured out on occasions, trying to still lead an active life, despite the cold. And that for me, is a big ask. I’m definitely not a cold weather person. I need about 5-6 layers the minute the mercury drops a few degrees below optimal (which is around 20C/68F)! I even asked a coach of a club if they really run/cycle in winter. I was quite surprised when he said, they do (regardless of the weather). I had to pick up jaw from floor at this point.

The key is to layer up, wear gloves, head cover, good socks and then you’re all set!
One of the many lakes near home.

In my mind, it didn’t seem possible. But when I attended a run in sub-zero temperatures and saw the attendance of runners, and was able to jog through snow to complete a 5k, I knew that I had to redefine my concept of what’s possible and what’s not!

The trails are clear and run we must!

Coming back to the seasons, I moved during fall but since I was quite distracted at that time, I feel it kind of passed me by. Winter set in and as it got colder, I was determined to enjoy it, rather than complain about it. Especially the days when I could switch on my fireplace and chill out with a glass of wine! All that I really miss is my precious cat and my constant companion for the last two decades—separated from her frankly feels like a piece of my heart has been ripped out. I realize that it’s the first time that she hasn’t moved with me; as she has over all my numerous moves. How I miss her; such an integral part of my life.

Ain’t gonna be fazed by a little snow!
It’s quite nice to run on snow… while it’s still soft and pliable!

Waking up one morning to a snow covered landscape outside the house was kind of like a fairytale. Of course, I couldn’t drive out to work in the morning because we all got snowed it. But I enjoyed the feeling of snowflakes falling gently through the day and the inches piling up on the patio. I would get a little bit of a secret thrill peeking to see how much it had increased every hour!

A view of the winter wonderland!
Waking up to this gorgeous sight!
Watching the inches pile up!

We didn’t get too much snow—probably 3-4 days in all, but it was enough to give me a taste of life in colder climes is. And it didn’t get brutally cold either (like it did in many parts of the north east). I got an emergency kit for the car, armed myself with a snow scraper, just in case… Nothing of that sort happened, though my battery did completely die after I came back from a long trip!

Flowers around the house always cheers me up. Especially in handmade vases 😉

The first three months of year flashed by though. Is it my imagination or is time actually moving faster?

And now, it’s spring time… After a conference in Minneapolis and a bike ride in Texas, and a nearly 10 day absence, I walked home and into my patio, nearly squealing with delight. There was a magnolia tree in full bloom and also a cherry blossom tree showing off it’s gorgeous soft plumes! It was enough for me to rush out of the house for a walk to admire the surroundings. I was drawn to the area I finally chose to live in mainly because of the trees and the landscape and I wasn’t disappointed. With spring in the air, it just looks like the whole area is coming alive after the rather bare (but still beautiful!) look that the suburb adopted during winter.

What a sight!

Now, I’m enjoying the season of the hour. It’s hard not to. Many more people are out and about. Many more people walking dogs.

The trees are coming alive and many are beginning to start growing new leaves.

Cherry blossoms in the background and magnolias in the foreground

It’s going to be hard for me to not click thousands of pictures. But I’m determined to enjoy the most of this next season. Because I’ve heard that the summer months are brutal. Humid. Hot. And I might be tempted to actually run back to California! Ah, but that’s going to be yet another story for another time.

The beauty of spring time!

In the meanwhile, it’s spring and I’m determined to enjoy every single moment of it.

The Enkindled Spring

By DH Lawrence

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,

Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,

Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between

Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration

Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze

Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,

Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among

This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed

About like a shadow buffeted in the throng

Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.

Original poem here.

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