Youâ€™re Not Alone, a piano solo played by Brian Culbertson is tickling my otherwise quiet surroundings from my stylish little Tivoli radio.
An oversized coffee mug with blue stripes and mint polka-dots generously serves my post-holiday mood sips of hot chocolate, leaving the shadow of Santaâ€™s frosty mustache with a generous smear of whipped cream above my own jolly lips. Tonight finds me all cozy in my silken-smooth black and white kimono with my hair in a loosely wrapped bun thatâ€™s teetering on top of my head while lush false eyelashes (remnants from tonightâ€™s previous dinner ensemble) bat up and down in unison with my thoughts as I type this blog. I recently heard someone say, â€śPeople hibernate in relationships. Donâ€™t you?â€ť Initially I considered this an interesting concept, yet as I began to privately entertain the idea, images of uninteresting complacency swooped down through my mind like chubby ill-fated aerial artists barely hooked around aimlessly swaying leashes, a metaphoric manifestation of greasy comfort foods, cellulite (chills), old worn-out couches for watching tv, and a couple that friends no longer bother inviting out because the only answer they ever get is â€śNo, but thanks anyway.â€ť Hibernate in a relationship?! Why hibernate when I can be a snowflake in a romantic winter garden, gracefully blooming with the partnership of anotherâ€™s unique tapestry of ivory crystals. I can almost feel their feather-like freedom descending in unison, weaving a loving white blanket around me… with every shift of breeze like another direction from heaven inviting me to taste their playful ways with the tip of my tongue.
A snowflake often exhibits six “arms” and each side of each arm grows independently. â€śMost snowflakes are not completely symmetric. The micro-environment in which the snowflake grows changes dynamically as the snowflake falls through the cloud, and tiny changes in temperature and humidity affect the way in which water molecules attach to the snowflake. Since the micro-environment (and its changes) are very nearly identical around the snowflake, each arm can grow in nearly the same way. However, being in the same micro-environment does not guarantee that each arm grows the same; indeed, for some crystal forms it does not because the underlying crystal growth mechanism also affects how fast each surface region of a crystal grows.â€ť -Wikipedia
Hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic slow-down in animals, characterized by lower body temperature and slower breathing in order to use less oxygen (Zzz…). Before entering hibernation most species eat a large amount of food and store energy in fat deposits (Sexy, no? Eh, hem..) to survive the winter. Hibernation is the way that animals adapt to the upcoming climate change. If animals were unable to live through extreme cold they would die. So, basically animals hibernate so they wonâ€™t die! That said, when someone told me that they â€śhibernate in relationshipsâ€ť the first thing I thought of was two people huddling together to survive and stay warm. That thought has since evolved into something much more objective as I sit here with my highest standards frowning at me through my reflection on a snow globe that is perched like a quiet old owl on what could have been the branch of a tree, but is now a small mahogany end-table.
Inside of the wise snow globe sit two small figures on a snowy park bench. One of the figurines is a young woman wearing a forest green coat that has a hood covering her head from which a few strands of curly ebony hair are peeking out to kiss her cheeks. The other figurine is a young man wearing a blue and grey plaid coat. He is wearing a small blue cap on his head with what appears to be a tiny ping-pong ball dangling from the back of it. The girlâ€™s ice skates wait beside her. A black and brown puppy with wide eyes and an excited pink tongue is standing on its hind legs as it looks up at the young man sitting next to what looks like a small reddish-orange snowboard. They are are holding hands, sweetly smiling at each other from the shy corners of their lips and their eyes.
I have always been inspired by couples that encourage independence while still maintaining complementary roles in their relationship. I have greatly enjoyed my own similar relationships and at this point in my life I honestly canâ€™t imagine ever being in a relationship with someone who simply wanted to hibernate our lives away… Which brings me back to snowflakes and bears.Â A snowflake has six arms that grow independently, yet each arm is one with the whole snowflake making the whole a unique entity that is beautifully dynamic. Doesnâ€™t it seem that human beings are also individually formed by a plethora of experiences and nuances in their micro-environments? The rate at which each person grows seems to vary quite a bit. In winter, some of us step into comfortable caverns while others find comfort in social activities outside of isolating caves. Hibernating bears emerge for a while, yet over the years they have slept entire seasons of their lives away… Snowflakes emerge, melt, and then become dew on blooming spring flowers, promising to be uniquely awake with us during each season.
Ah… there they are! Now I can see my standards smiling at me from my reflection on the snow globe. They are happily awake, stretching out through six arms of scenic senses as my imagination animates the figurines, bringing me the kind sound of her voice, the sweet taste of his hot cocoa brushed lips, the smell of his aftershave mixing with her perfume, the feel of his warm fuzzy mittens wrapped around her bare feminine hand, the youthful sparkle in his puppyâ€™s eyes, and there! in between my fingerprints covering the sphere of falling snowflakes seems to be something greater than all the charming details of these miniature figures. Itâ€™s an intuitive story about two people with different interests, out in the world, embracing the cold weather, smiling together, and holding hands like two dynamic arms of softly woven snow.
Hibernate in a relationship?! Maybe if being a slave-like circus bear were my thing… but itâ€™s not. When it comes to being in a relationship, hibernating almost half my life away at the expense of sleeping through countless opportunities to be a fully orbed presence in the world is much too much for me to bear… even if that means I will occasionally melt away. Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ll be just fine as a pretty little dew drop sunbathing on a spring flower petal somewhere… By the way, have you ever noticed how quickly two droplets of water merge when they get close together? Sexy little splashes, arenâ€™t they!