Is it really easier to get through winter if you're in love? Popular music lyrics long have sent us that message. From "Baby, It's Cold Outside" to "June in January" we're told we can shrug off the ice, the winds, the snow...just as long as we've got someone to love.
What about those of us who are unattached, though? What if we have no "special someone," no "significant other" to get us through these bitterly chilly days?
For me, the answer's clear. Just turn my two aging oversized dogs outside and watch them frolic and wrestle and bellyflop as if they were puppies once more. My heart sang yesterday when I watched my nearly blind diabetic mutt, Natty, take on his bigger, older...and arthritic...stepsister Akita, Nami, in a game of tag as they plowed through the new foot of snow we'd received overnight.
So just as my cat, Chico, got me through winter a few years ago when my late husband was so ill, now the dogs are stepping up, stepping out and stepping amazingly friskily to send me the message that it's still going to be a happy new year, despite the gray landscape of January.
Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to spring, even as I marvel at the beauty of the coated firs outside my windows. Natty and Nami may be up and ready to romp by 6:30 each morning, while I pull the covers up around my head. I appreciate their enthusiasm, but for me it's never too soon for crocus and tulips. So I continue to look forward to warmer days. Why, by June I'll have written at least a dozen more personal essays, traveled to London and Paris and back, and will be preparing for my July stint at Christ Church, Oxford, where I'll be studying the history of the English language.
Speaking of London...here's Julie. You may remember "Cry Me a River," but she also recorded an upbeat "June in January."
June in JanuaryA clouded moon creeps across the clouded sky
Winds of January sigh and moan
And yet it's June.
I can see a sky of blue
Dear the miracle is due to you.
It's June in January
Because I'm in love
It always is spring in my heart
with you in my arms.
The snow is just white blossoms
that fall from above.
And here is the reason, my dear,
Your magical charms.
The night is cold
The trees are bare
But I can feel the scent of roses in the air.
It's June in January
The late great Julie London, a woman for all seasons.