Days are short. My thoughts are short. Like milky winter days they shimmer, but lack form and shape.

One thought circling is that I am off my feed.

I used it to describe a friend who repeated a request to both Anne and me.

My daughter says to me, “What does that mean?”

And I explain, it’s an idiom. It’s agricultural. Animals get off their feed. They’re out of sorts, not eating well. Something may be wrong. Or it could right itself. Hard to say. It bears watching. For now, they’re just off their feed.

This happens to me after times of intense output. You, too?

My mother-in-law said to me, “I know something about you. You get quiet when you’re under stress.” She has known me for almost thirty-five years.

If you are this sort, and I don’t think there are many of us, anymore – like an endangered species – you curl up. You’re conserving energy. What I’ve come to think of as “Armadillo Mode,” you tuck and roll, tucking being the armadillo’s defense mechanism.

After a while, you pop out of the tuck, a gymnast without a landing mat. Ta da!

Lacking an insightful mother-in-law, people may have missed your landing. It’s disorienting. Where am I? Here, in the middle of January?

Wait. Classes have started. My meetings and organizations have taken up. I have commitments. Bills to pay. A new year of expectations, when I haven’t even had the time to get my bearings. Some worries from the old year linger, but fresh ones, without snow tracks, lie ahead.

Today, there is so much clamor for attention. I’ve been wronged! I need! I have! I’m working out, I’m quitting this or that, I’m falling out of love, I’m desperate, let me show you.

I do wonder how many of us are just off our feed. Quietly. No one but the stable master may notice. I will keep you in my prayers.


Photo credit: Milky Winter Syndrome, by Cattywampus (