Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Flu, Falling Leaves and Falling Snow

All the years we lived on the boat, we would come back to St. Louis to visit and we would get sick. Didn't seem to matter if it was winter or summer, although the holidays did garner their share of extra virus bugs. This year it appears that maybe it's a virus that most of the family has been exposed to some time previously, as so far the only ones to succumb are the baby, the 4-year old, and me. It may be that it's a flu or just a really horrific cold but, either way, it's knocked me flat for almost two weeks as it traveled from my sinuses to my throat to my lungs. Thankfully, the wage-earning member of our household hasn't come down with it yet.

Just before the onerous bug took up residence in my body, we were enjoying the amazing two weeks of fall weather we usually get in St. Louis. We were riding our bikes in the parks, and going on long walks, and sometimes were just simply sitting outside with our faces turned into the sun. If there is one thing that living on the boat taught me, it was to enjoy beauty whenever and wherever you find it. Being terrestrial dwellers again has accented the importance of this in so many ways.

From early November through the end of March, St. Louis is not known for its colorful vista. Most of the trees have dropped their leaves, the grass is faded, the sky is gray, and houses are all painted variants of the same taupe or gray color as the surroundings. After living in the Bahamas and Florida for so many years, the lack of brilliant colors is perhaps my biggest challenge. The time change this year even prompted the purchase of one of those Seasonal Affective Disorder lamps that are purported to help with winter blues. Time will tell if the claims are justified. In reality, I think that the leaves that I picked up along my walks in the parks and coated with polyurethane will yield similar results.

Even after I was sentenced to a few days' rest on the couch, I found beauty in the reflections of the tree branches blowing in the wind on my living room wall, oddly reminiscent of the water ripple reflections that used to dance on the headliner of Kintala's  interior.

So I'm clinging to the beauty that I've collected in my mind these last few weeks in an attempt to get through these winter months. In the meantime, Bean the Boat Bear is sitting in his windowsill watching the early snowfall, 3" of fluffy white stuff accompanied by 30 kt gusts, all the while plotting his escape to the crew of Blowin' In The Wind down in sunny, warm, colorful, Stuart Florida...