Letter from My 48th Year (Feb 17)
Before I fell asleep, before I gave myself heartburn by falling asleep when I’d just eaten a bowl of pasta, before the snow started, I’d planned to write a blog post about what a beautiful possibly spring day it was. How it was cold, but a fresh, light-warmed kind of cold, with no bite to it. It was a springtime kind of cold.
And it may still very well be on its way to an early spring despite the groundhog’s pessimism and the icy white outside. If the truth of who we are is not our circumstances, perhaps the same is true of the seasons?
I am waiting for my period, which was supposed to show up on Thursday. If I believed that carnal thoughts about Jon Hamm could get you pregnant or if I weren’t in perimenopause, I’d be worried, so so worried. It’s interesting that as my body is moving from maiden to crone (I seem to have skipped whatever’s in-between) that I wait now not to have my period.
I wonder, is this the start of those 12 months with no period that will land me in full menopause? Or is my period simply on hiatus for a month or two, leading me down the garden path of thinking we have parted forever, only to come flooding back—and yes, from the stories I’ve heard “flooding” is no hyperbole—whenever it feels like it? The 40s can be such a steadying time; I have experienced an influx of wisdom, of calm, of peace about who I am that I never expected to get to. Yet my body is unstable, unsure if it’s ready for my fertility to sputter to a stop, or if it wants to hang out just a bit longer, waiting by the phone for a sperm to call, full of expectation and excitement and already disappointed that the delicious tenterhooks of waiting will end one way or the other. Am I in spring or am I in winter? (And really, I should say “fall” and not “winter” but oh how a poet will lie sometimes just to make the metaphor work.)