Excerpt from Watch It Burn, Chapter 40:
When it’s mid-January in the Midwest, you’ve packed away the ornaments and burned the brown dry tree on the Epiphany bonfire. You wake up and realize it’s staying dark a little later this morning than yesterday, and it will be another week until the days start to get longer again. You cringe and pull the covers up over your head, but then you take a deep breath and throw them off, putting your sock-clad feet reluctantly on the cold floor. You stagger out to start the fire in the woodstove before you even go to pee.
But, when it’s May in the Midwest and the dawn comes brightly in the window, but the birds are silent and the snow is above the bottom of the windowsill, and dammit, it’s snowing again, you might want to get up. You might want to find something to do. But the hollow in your stomach is a gaping, burning chasm and the shakes start as soon as you move your hands to throw back the covers. Your hands are like icicles and your feet are cold inside two pairs of socks. You haven’t felt your toes in weeks. It’s May, you’re on a farm. You should have plenty to do: animals to tend, fences and stalls to mend, vegetables to transplant, mulch to lay, rows to hoe. But there is the snow. The bud tips of the trees are thick but brown; they tried to leaf out when it thawed for a few days in April, but no.