Where's my calendar, where is my mind?
The familiar hollow-post holiday feeling hit me as I drove to work today, spurred somewhat by the low, gray clouds gracing the Basin this morning. They're supposed to dissipate later this afternoon, returning Tucson to its usual sunny, low-seventies state. We will quickly revert to the generic climate that fails to trigger an automatic sense of place and season, body memory or nostalgia or melancholy for dates long past, conditioned responses to the calendar. I spent my first 27 years learning that early January meant face-first into a cold wind under steel skies, a long trudge through a winter looking bleak now that the anticipation of Christmas' warmth is past, Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's a pale flicker beckoning us on. We return to our routines made slightly more empty and futile by the cold distractionless days of ice and gray slush that lie ahead.
Today I felt a twinge of that, but only briefly. Maybe it actually helped that we took all the decorations down. That usually makes me sad, but this year I am in the middle of building bookcases and have wood and sawdust strewn across the front room, so it's something of a relief to have the extra clutter put away. Or maybe I was too busy to get sad, or too tired, or too befuddled by Notre Dame's 8th consecutive bowl loss. Maybe it doesn't matter in the desert, where it's sunny 360 days a year. Maybe I'm finally old and cynical, maybe I just don't care as much as I used to.
Maybe next year will be different.