It was very light out when I got up this morning -- I know, I know, that's what Daylight Savings is all about right? Lighter in the mornings, and darker in the evenings. But I noticed it as I was levering myself upright and staggering the few steps that my old body always seems to need to stagger before straightening up and flying right. And when I got into the kitchen, and stood in front of the window, my discomfort at the chill linoleum floor under my bare feet was drowned out by the brightness of the day outside.
The sky was very full of light, although the sun was completely invisible behind the thick, off-white cloud cover. It radiated light all over, and the tree directly in front of me, which was only sparsely leaved, with small, completely yellow leaves -- a change in the past week -- stood out sharply against that glowing backdrop. A squirrel, racing lightly along this branch and that branch and then dropping to that other branch, was bright, crisp black against the white sky and the yellow leaves. Very visible, yet I clearly remember just a few days ago -- wasn't it? -- that I saw a squirrel perform much the same manoeuvres and all I saw was the bouncing of the thick green branches and the occasional flick of a tail. The yellow continued on down to the ground, which was carpeted with crunchy gold -- no rain and cold nights have kept everything bright and sharp!
Cold nights -- yes, last night was very chilly in my bedroom, but I am smiling with pleasure as I think of it. My nose was very cold, but the rest of me was absolute perfection. I had changed the sheets to a flannel set, and they were lightly furry and immediately warm when I slid between them. I had draped my old-rose afghan over the side of the bed I always lie on, and I was wearing my pink shawl. Made for me by the mother of my first boyfriend, back on the Farm, it is pale pink crochet, ribbed and scalloped and buttoned up the front with large mother-of-pearl buttons. It is a very warm garment, and I never wear it as clothing anymore, but keep it for a bed jacket. It fills that job to perfection. I'm really very surprised that I still have it, after all these years. Let's see, I was -- sixteen? -- when she gave it to me, and I am 47 now, so it is 31 years old. Remarkable that it has survived so many abrupt departures and cross-country moves. I still have the quilt my mother made for me when I was eight, but those might well be the eldest of my belongings. I'll have to give that some thought.
I had a new Michael Gilbert to read and a cup of scalding tea, which I held balanced on my chest (propped up by four flannel-clad pillows -- warmth from the back as well as the front! ) and every few minutes dipped my head to take a tiny sip -- couldn't manage more, it was too hot -- and as I felt the spreading glow of each sip I had to smile. Comfort complete!