This has been one of the coldest and most dreary winters in a long time. Or so it seems. I think we say this every year. February is not one of those months I enjoy because I am sick of snow by now and look forward to the arrival of spring. This year, we had a very apparent lack of sunshine and too much snow. Around these parts, we all start too get cabin fever. It is not like people do not go out, but the air has been so bitterly cold, that even venturing out is dangerous. Usually we get one week of below zero, but this year, the temperatures have been constantly single digits.
Last night I ventured out with the air so sharp it felt like little knives on your skin. I attended my music class as I do most Tuesday nights. I enjoy the class not only for the chance to learn to play my recorder but for the camaraderie and fun. Last night, we moved into uncharted territory with a new book and we were sight reading because all three of us heard our instructor say to practice the old book’s last lesson. So like three cats in heat, we painfully progressed through our new lesson. We learned high b flat which for some reason on my instrument sounded more like a goose caught in a lawn mower. And every time we had to play it, and this noise came out of my instrument, I burst into laughter. If you know me, you know I have this silly giggle that sounds like I am about three and it is hard not to laugh at the laugh. Whoa to us, because I would giggle and I would hear my dear friend chortle which would send me off in to a spasm of more giggles and we were lost. I would look up over the music stand to see the instructor glowering at me.
The result of the hour spent making more sounds like I was playing a party favor than a gorgeous baroque melody had a medicinal effect of calming me down and getting me a bit out of the deep funk I was in the past days. By laughing, I released my diaphragm which is the first thing that gets locked up when I am stressed. My body chemistry changed and like a tonic, I felt so much better. I realized again that I had fed the wrong beast too much. But it all fairness, it is hard this time of year for many of us who are trapped indoors to be cheerful. And we feed each other’s beast by being nasty to each other. So I need to find things to calm me and choose them. Even now, when I draw up in my head the pinched look on the instructor’s face from last night, I still giggle. I am not sure if it was his frustration with us or that his ears truly hurt. Thank heavens the man is slightly deaf.