Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back


A few nights ago, the loudest BOOM I’ve ever heard in my life woke me in the middle of the night. My first thought was, “Are we at war?” It literally sounded like my neighbor’s house just blew up. My own house shook with the force of the explosion, which was followed by a sudden flash of light beyond the window curtains, like in a horror movie. Then the steadily falling rain started to pour so loudly, it sounded like it was raining in my room.

Then yesterday, during our morning stick time, the weather went from sunny to cloudy to SNOWING within fifteen minutes. Neighbors had warned me of late April flurries when I moved up here, but that’s the kind of thing one doesn’t believe until one sees it.

Well, yesterday it happened. Snow fell on just-bloomed flowers and new buds.

Strangely, I handled the cold all winter, but yesterday I shivered uncontrollably, even in the winter coat and gloves (which I had to run back into the house to get). The cold felt more painful in those few minutes than it had in the last several months. Was it because I wasn’t expecting it? Or because Nature was going backwards?

The weather oddly mirrored my own emotional state.

Last Saturday I joined a friend in the city to celebrate his birthday. The whole weekend was a vibrant rush of familiar faces, friends, new experiences and great weather. I felt alive and hopeful.

Upon arriving back home, I noticed that more flowers had bloomed, and some of the buds on the trees and bushes were now visible. The air smelled fresh and sweet. But the week went downhill from there…

Wednesday (April 22) was my wedding anniversary, which, as well as being forever etched in my mind and heart, also sets off an 11-day mourning period until May 3, the anniversary of Kaz’s passing. Four years ago we married. Four years ago he died.

I had anticipated that this week would be an emotional minefield. But I didn’t expect how many mines I would meet. Silly me, I thought I had cleared some of them already. Not the case.

I cried while throwing the stick for Ruby, while sitting outside listening to the birds, while passing a dead deer on the road, while taking a shower. I took a lot of naps, and went to bed before it was even dark out. The quiet of the countryside has felt oppressive this week, not comforting like usual.

And then there was the weather.

How ironic that it would get cold again right when everything is starting to come back to life.  The snow seemed surreal at first, and then more sinister, like a betrayal or a sick joke.

“It will get warm and stay warm eventually, right?” I asked a neighbor yesterday afternoon. “Yes,” she reassured me with a smile. “We’ll be standing out here in t-shirts soon.”

Even though the cold is only temporary, it’s hard not feel discouraged. It’s as if these cold, sad days have shaken my faith. I keep telling myself it will get better in May. Everything will get better in May.

Author: nivaladiva

Freelance writer and independent filmmaker.

11 thoughts on “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

  1. Same weather pattern in the Midwest, where I am. I feel the same way. I dealt with 5 or 10 degrees in the winter just fine, but now I want warmth. It makes me feel better mentally and physically.

    When the weather does warm up, it feels heavenly.

  2. Know exactly how you feel (and had the same weather, a day earlier, here in Wisc). I think it’s spiral-motion – a little forward, a circling back, but never quite as far back and then a little forward again.

  3. Hello, Darlin’ Niva – – my heart goes out to you – these anniversaries of birthdays, weddings, deaths. and so on, send us on roller coaster rides of emotion. Then, when the weather seems to ride along with it, what more is there to do curl into a ball and ride along. “This too shall pass. . .” our mantra among so many others – “Tomorrow’s another day,” “One day at a time.”
    My heart is with you. You are not alone in this. “The sun (and warmth) will come out tomorrow. . .” outside and in our hearts/minds/souls. (As I’m tearing up writing this to you) Carry on, dear one, love you and miss you. . .Lisa

  4. Sunshine today and a little easing of sadness here. How about there? What a loaded time this is for you. I imagine you creating rituals to help hold these days and all they bring.
    Daffodils, scilla, and hyacinth withstood the snow and cold as they always do. It’s easy for me to forget how tied our bodies and feelings are to the weather, especially living in the country. It’s been nearly seven years since my husband died, but my sadness, no matter what the initial cause, still settles into missing him and the way he made feel better about any lousy thing.
    Sending you love and patience with hope that sunshine helps.

    • Thank you, Elaine. Today is sunny and blue skies, though still a little cold. I have the windows open anyway to let the fresh air in. Sending you love and hugs and pleasant thoughts as well…

  5. So sorry for the down times and this difficult time each year. Glad you have friends and neighbors to distract you sometimes.

  6. Our Northern weather does suck sometimes. In mid May we had a week long cold snap… that damaged some crops. Even though it was mild in comparison to not even 3 weeks b4…it felt FREEZING. And, its always struck me how random grief can be, and how some deaths just never leave us completely. Moving forward sometimes, well, it means you’re moving away from something…and that I think is what hits me.

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