In better times, we still have something to communicate

Yesterday, it snowed in Tucson. I had seen a weather report that suggested 80% certainty that it would, but for obvious reasons (precedent; the desert) I didn’t believe it. It was 36 degrees out, and had been raining all morning, when Dave came in to the dining room and said, Is it snowing? I think I see snowflakes?

We decided quickly that he was wrong, and that what he was seeing was simply large raindrops being whipped around by the wind. But a minute or so later, more snow fell, and then the whole sky was snow. Big, wet flakes falling all over town, for an hour. It didn’t stick much: the one place I saw it accumulate was on the tarp of a car dealership across from our vet’s office, where Paul was getting pre-op bloodwork for a teeth cleaning next week. (If you don’t have pets: they usually have to put them under general anesthesia for teeth cleanings.)

As it turns out, Paul also has a wee cyst on his foot, which he was been licking constantly, and since I don’t want him to spend all his time in a cone, nor do I want him to lick his way to an infection (In Five Easy Steps, Just Ask Me How), he will also get that removed, since he’ll be out anyway. It’ll just cost, oh, three or four hundred dollars more. (Step Three: Profit?) Mostly I feel bad that his foot will hurt; I can’t stand the idea of causing him pain. But of course the cyst causes him pain, too. I’m sorry I keep typing the word “cyst.”

Anyway, we did not get a hard freeze last night from what I can tell, and though post-snowfall yesterday our yard was full of water, it has now drained, and the sun is out. The mountains around us are still uncannily frosted and chilly, so that’s nice, on the morning walk. It’s supposed to rain again, maybe Friday, and then the weather will swing wildly between 70-degree days and sub-freezing nights, and it will be classic, confusing, Tucson February weather.

I can’t express too strongly how much I personally needed this rain; the sameness of the Tucson weather, the constancy—especially this past year, when we got such dismal monsoons—has been eating away at my mental health. Arguably, the Pacific Northwest also has periods of extreme sameness (albeit opposite ours), but I still crave the sense of omnipresent weather I always had living there, the comforting blanket of clouds that was so often overhead. So many reasons for sweaters and layering your clothing. So much logic to tea.

It has not helped my pandemic, my quarantine, I’m saying, that we hadn’t had rain in so long. Now it is sunny again, at least for a day or two, and I am looking mournfully at the sky, even though this makes it easier to exercise outside & et cetera. Apparently I want to be drenched, soaked, like the deer in the park at the beginning of Bleak House.

Yesterday was also my brother’s birthday, and I miss him. Dave’s birthday is next week, and the bagels I ordered him from New York arrived yesterday with their millions of shmears, so now we have bagels for days (literally). I’m not proud to think that so much of my coping this year has been related to things I buy, but there are precious few ways to bring newness into one’s life when one’s life is one’s home, and well, we take what we can get (in this case, with overnight air shipping included gratis). Recently, I repotted and gently wired the last bonsai tree I had still in its original pot, and I wish I had more of them to do, an endless number, though we don’t really have enough window space. There is just something pleasing about adjusting the future direction of a tree, imagining a shape for it, one which it will not fully achieve for years. And even then, it will still be growing if you’re lucky. You get to watch its slow life bend, giving it quiet suggestions, and hoping for the best.

Fingers crossed for more rain.