Last winter, not too far from the month of November, my friend Amber planted a few ordinary onions that had started to sprout. We didn't think anything of it other than how sad it would be to toss these green things into the garbage, dank with decay and biting winter cold. She put them into a large container, empty save some brown dirt, and left them for the winter.
The following summer, a few green stalks snaked out of the pot. Each week, they reached higher and higher toward the warmth of the sun. As my half-assed garden was tended and herbs planted around it, it grew independent of my worry, my attempted care, strong and beautiful.
The blossoms were bunched into a pom-pom, of sorts. Sometimes, they reminded me of summer fireworks. The tiny white things smelled and tasted of onion in a soft, echoey way. They were the most beautiful things that came out of the dirt. The stalks eventually waned, as all living things must do, but before it disappeared from this earth, it passed on quiet, lovely memories, a few endearing photographs and above all, four small, perfect yellow onions.
It's winter again. The sun hasn't shown its face in a good three days. Snow already blanketed us once. I'm not good in winter with the cold and the grey. I try to keep spirits up with plenty of liquid spirits, a grotesque number of candles and every sort of twinkly light imaginable. I crave the light much the way the onion stalk did when it was planted in winter soil.
So I keep the ideas of possibilities in my head. That winter is a time to plan and plant in the rhetorical sense and that whatever I decide or achieve now, it has to blossom later. I can't promise onions, but I at least do promise more writing.
I know, I know. I sound like the ass-hole neglectful boyfriend. But as the day job gets busier and more practical pursuits ensure the bill-paying abilities, I crave ... writing. The freelance life can get wily and out of control. A big chunk of my time is spent eating out, knowing about restaurants and chefs at home and beyond. When I put away the computer or send out the last draft, the thing I miss most in my sullen fatigue is cooking.
Looking at my prospective winter budget, I can afford meds, but not therapy. So I'll pursue my own psychological prescription: more time in the kitchen, in front of the stove.
Will you take this medicine with me?