In an effort to write more often, our professor assigned us to keep a journal of things we observe in our world. Based on Ross Gay’s Book of Delights (which I HIGHLY recommend), we chose a word to focus on through writing mini essays every day.
Given that the semester started in a polar vortex, I chose the word “warmth” to meditate on for the next few months.
On many blustery, busy days (hello, mid-March blizzard!) it’s been hard to find moments of warmth around me. On others, it seems to spring from sidewalks filled with people taking deep breaths again. The light is coming. Summer will be ours.
And so, on these days when warmth is especially hard to muster, I think back to times it has radiated most. This moment is one my family knows well. I hope it makes your day like it always makes mine. It begins with an orange tabby that was too hungry for her own good back in 2007.
Stella and I doing what we love most–listening to Taylor Swift and drinking wine on a weekend in Northfield.
Crisp sheets falling on the worn mattress, sinking at its middle. The taco bed, they call it. The cat squeezes underneath the tight sheet and flattens herself under its taut pressure. Beneath it, white illuminates her gold fur, pupils saucer-wide as she searches a way out of her self-made capture. The sun on the sheets, the way the light catches that cat-shaped lump underneath, one end of it flitting back and forth in striped anticipation begs a window to open. All this moment needs is a bird chirp and kid scream from the bike path below.
The next sheet is tossed and tucked, the yellow lump underneath now a little less translucent. Next, the goose feather clumps of a comforter, filling with air in all the wrong places. I shake shake shake to redistribute the down, my bicep burning while holding the blanket’s weight. Finally, it thumps to the mattress. I sit on the floor near the end of the bed and wait.
Slowly, like a tortilla coming off a conveyor belt, she slides out, flat down the mattress edge. In a swift scoop before she knows to activate claws, you nestle her beside your spring-fresh pillow. Burrowing the covers around yourself, she tucks neatly between your neck and the pillow’s edge. This wasn’t her plan for the day. She had mice to catch and a screen door to consider walking through. But far be it from Stella to ever turn down a nap.
A purr thrums on to your skin, and you exhale, deflating with the air beneath your pillows.
At last, peace.