Despite February

The second month of the year, historically, has never been a good month for me.

Winters in my home town were invariably longest and dreariest in February, regardless of its scant twenty-eight days. Maybe because in February spring was still, practically, months away, even if the calendar was a bit more hopeful. By February, everyone is just so damned tired of the snow and the cold, the shoveling and the layers. Even the happiest (read: insane) winter-lovers out there are ready to get over it by the time mid-February hits.

Bad news and accidents came in on February’s coat tails, too, a double-down on the misery of the month. Fender benders, money shortage, illness. If it was anything from inconvenient to catastrophic, odds were good it arrived in February. It became a running gag for a while. “Oh, it’s February,” I’d say, trying to bounce back. “Of course.”

I hoped to escape my February curse when I left northern Ontario. Living in Vancouver now, where the chance of snow is almost non-existant and I discovered snow drops were an actual flower and not mere myth, I thought the ruse successful. “I made it. February will never find me here!”

Last February, my first here, I managed to dislodge something in my spine and was basically confined to bed for two weeks, the pain worse than anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. Any movement was, without exaggeration, agony. I wept trying to manage the smallest tasks. I hadn’t been in Vancouver for even half a year yet, and my misery was total.

“Found you,” February said.

But before the end of the month, my spine unlocked itself, got better and spring did come. When the calendar said it would, no less.

The calendar, however, also promised me another February, and here it is.

Mid-week I wiped out spectacularly on the way back to work after a lunch out, rolling my ankle pretty bad. Because I walk everywhere, it’s a bit of a concern. But I will be damned if I let this February take me down. I sent off my first agent submission package (ever) on the first of the month. I’m making steady progress on revisions, even though I’ve had to keep my ankle on ice for a few days. There are snow drops growing like mad in this warm weather, more prolific than dandelions on summer lawns back east.

And in two short weeks I head off to the Rainforest Writers Village, a retreat in Lake Quinalt, Washington.


It will be my first trip States-side since I moved here. I will ride in a real train for the first time, visit Seattle. I’ll get to reconnect with my Viable Paradise classmates and meet new people. I will walk in the rainforest of the Northwest. I will eat salmon and look out across the lake. I will listen to the rain and the clacking of thirty keyboards, mine included, and know it to be wonderful and exactly what I need right now.

So, suck it, February. You will be awesome whether or not you want to be.

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