Day after day of lacy snowflakes and murky ice puddles had nearly pushed the sun all the way out. The bitter wind had blown it about, round and round inside my head until the sun seemed like a dream from a child's fantasy.
but, that feeling of opening the front door and squinting through the bright light before you begin to feel a growing warmth slide across the surface of your skin like caramel sauce on vanilla ice cream. That feeling of pure delight and contentment. That feeling of boundless light going all the way through you to your bones until it is all you can do but close your eyes, spread your arms and smile up to the sky. That feeling of curling up in the sunny spot the window is creating on the floor, exactly like you have seen your cat do a million times. That feeling. The sun...I must have known it once, because I still have these suntan lines. I see them daily in the mirror as I undress and redress . I trace over them with my index finger. Around my shoulders and down my neck. I think about the time it took to acquire them and the countless hours pretending to be a mermaid in the swimming pool. The tan lines are fading, but they are still there; they are slow to fade. Upon further inspection I find more evidence the sun and I had been old friends once: permanent freckles and beauty marks on a complexion I was so certain I could protect. Those will never fade.
It has been months since I have seen the sun, but it is slow to fade with me. I remember it without even wanting to. Much the way I do with you. You are slow to fade with me. Have I loved you? Have you hurt me? Have you taught me something? have you loved me? have we laughed together? have we cried? have we mattered? I remember it all. It is there, written wordlessly onto my skin. Under my skin. I trace the suntan lines over and over in my mind noting the bits that are lighter than they were before and finding new ever fixed freckles I will never forget. I find I am glad for both the pieces that fade and the speckles to remember always.
I am thankful for the snow. I am grateful for slow fading.
and more than anything I am glad the sun found me today and reminded me there will be thousands more sunny days beyond the winter.
and new tan lines.