Winter is fickle. The thought seemed to rattle the curtains that hung around the window as I gazed out through the warm glass. Instead, it turned out to be a large snort from a sleepy dog that sent them fluttering, but either way, the curtains matched my interior. I felt rattled. I have a day now and then when my insides feel shaken. I question whether the tremors have left cracks in the foundation, but they don’t. It is very inconvenient how emotions and life are all very fickle.
Life is like winter in Florida. Up and down; round and round. One day I pull out the puffy coats, the next I go to the beach. Despite the rattling in my mind on that morning, the blue sky shone bright. The waves crashed onto warm sand. And so the children and I assembled into that fickle winter, flip-flops on feet.
Flat on my back, the depths of the blue hung above me. An angel swam across it, outlined all in soft white puffy cloud, but only for a moment…until I realized it was a dragon eating something. I blinked. Living in that rattled pessimism I had failed to even hear the white noise of waves crashing twenty feet away from me. There it was - that rattling feeling. Deep breath.
The tot sidled up to me. She chattered on in that tot way, burrowing her cute little toes into the sand next to my face. It was a soothing little chatter she was doing. I craned my head forward to speak with her when—splat. The tot decided to fling her toes free and sent a scoop of the tiny fragments of ancient mountains flying straight at my open mouth.
I sat up spitting and muttering unpleasant things while I recollected myself. The word fickle ran through my brain as I crunched sand between my molars and stared out at those now less peaceful and attractive looking waves. Fickle. Every moment has the opportunity to change itself completely. Nothing is truly reliable. Nothing is absolute. How annoying.
It was at this moment that I realized I was literally wearing rose colored glasses. They are the best for viewing the beach’s colors without being blinded by the brightness, but there certainly was a symbolic meaning. They turned the beach a little pinker; the darkness of the water a little more green; and my December appropriate light skin an attractive deep tan. And through them I looked to see the boy studiously chipping away at a sand road for his miniature truck.
Of course, the fickle ocean would decide to send one rouge wave to slosh up there and steal part of his road at any second. The boy knew that, but he build on, enjoying the moment. The tot flitted around like a seagull honing in on the location of a discarded cracker. Clearly she was enjoying the moment.
My eyes focused in on that blue, blue, blue up above again. There was a cloud fluff dog, and a cloud fluff butterfly. Slowly I let out a sigh, as some of the rattles inside me seemed to hush, something like greasing the rusty parts. The tot reappeared at my side, obliviously singing a song. I turned to look at her and—
What’s that silly saying? Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on…
After wiping sand off my eyebrows, I adjusted those rose colored glasses across my eyes. Sand in the mouth, or no sand in the mouth; rattles in the mind, or no rattles in the mind; we choose our reactions. I choose what I allow to flourish in my head. And after all, it truly was a fickle day for winter, being so bright and warm. It would have been difficult to stay grouchy or anxious.
Incidentally, we also get to choose what rules we have in place in our lives. New Rule: Tots are not allowed to stand within three feet of sunbathers’ faces.
It was a very fickle day—in a good way.