An Ode to Winter

It seems that every time I come back to the cold I have to reacquaint myself. I always begin the process like one would the stages of grief, with denial. I deny the cold entry into myself, refusing to lower my warm self into the depths of the freeze. I linger in defiant disbelief that such a thing could exist. Every time I come back to winter I have to relearn that it is normal, perfectly normal.

From denial I continue into some mishmash of pain, anger, and blame; of those around me and of myself. I succumb to the cold, let it take hold of my heart and wrap its knobby, long, and freezing fingers around me. I seek out those around me to take the burden, to let me avoid those feelings that I know are coming. I long to be released from the dismal darkness even in my denial that I must feel at all.

Then, the truth starts to seep in as I begin to thaw. The ice that has caressed the edges of my soul starts to melt and with it my heart’s beat can once more begin to sound out its cry. I realize that inside the pain, anger, and blame is sadness. These outward emotions are always a sign for me of something inside that I haven’t dealt with, or that I have been reminded of but haven’t noticed. With this realization, I am able to cry and with the tears of the thaw comes the flood and the flowers.

Finally, it is spring, the heaviness of the snow has departed leaving only muddied walkways to work through. My feet are sucked into the earth with each step but faithfully, I walk forward because I can feel the coming warmth. In spring time I am able to look back toward the departing winter and realize that it brought with it growth, renewal, and rest; that even in the cold, on the darkest of days, there is life… Under the snow lie seeds and leaves just waiting to burst through towards the sun.

In the blink of an eye another winter has come and gone, another voyage of the heart has been completed, into the depths and out again. Winter never seeks to cause harm, only to remind us what lies inside, under the snow on our hearts. As the sun comes once again, I realize with a start that winter is perhaps the most magical time of all. Sometimes only in the darkness, can we find the most important light.

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