This morning I headed out on my four mile commuting nature walk. A song from a John Coltrane album was stuck in my head and I couldn't stop singing it. The temperature was just beginning to fall towards some real winter weather. A nearby neighbor's half frozen rosebush had raindrops on the roses, but before I got two blocks on my way snow started falling. Soon it was cold enough that the snowflakes stayed on my nose and eyelashes. I took out my warm woolen mittens and put them on. A kitten ambled up to me and rubbed his whiskers against my ankles. Wild geese flew south overhead. The moon was still up that morning and it looked like it was on their wings.
There was something odd about all of these things.
Someone rang the doorbell on a house I was passing. I thought I heard sleigh bells. Everything looked silver-white. Then the sun came out and melted everything like it was already spring. I took off my warm woolen mittens. There was another kitten with whiskers. I felt shaky about all this. This wasn't the same kitten, was it? It looked like it was the exact same kitten, with the whiskers.
I got to the library and the supplies I ordered had all arrived wrapped in brown paper packages. I had to get some scissors because they were tied up with strings. I put my dinner away in the refrigerator and was surprised because I thought I'd brought hummus and carrots, but I remembered incorrectly and had a Tupperware full of schnitzel with noodles instead. I was starting to get unnerved in my head.
Marcus, the teen librarian was boiling water in a bright copper kettle. He was whistling the same song I'd been singing all day, the John Coltrane one. He asked if I wanted any tea. I declined, but helped myself to a piece of the crisp apple strudel one of my co-workers had brought in for the free food table.
"Roses" I thought. "My neighbors don't have any roses!"
I went to the front desk. Some big event was going on in the meeting room. "What's up with all the girls with blue satin sashes?" I asked nervously. There were a lot of them. I found something about the blue satin particularly disturbing.
"The ones in white dresses?" My co-worker asked excitedly. "They're here with the ponies. There are two little cream-colored ponies in the meeting room for some Austrian Culture presentation. You should go see!"
I told her I'd better go lay down instead. So I did.
I felt funny for a long time. I felt sad, actually, for awhile.
But now, somehow, when I reflect upon all these things, I don't feel so bad.