My winter has been long. One of sorrow, darkness, loss, anger, pain. Bitter cold. Winter is something I hate. Winter is painful. It’s hard to tell you when the chill of my winter began. But I can tell you the exact moment I knew it was here. The moment my world shattered into a million pieces. And it’s hard to say when my winter will end. But I have a feeling it won’t be like the moment it certainly arrived. It won’t be pomp and circumstance and in your face and and loud. No. I think it will be quiet. A moment that I look up and see before me warmth and restoration and sunshine. And I’ll turn my inner eye back onto the road I have traveled and look up at the mountains I have crossed and perhaps have a seat cross-legged on the ground and think “I made it”. And close my eyes and smile.
win·ter — /ˈwin(t)ər/
noun 1. the coldest season
I am a lover of summer. The heat of the suns rays beating down on my bronzing skin. The long days. The sounds of children playing in the street and birds chirping. Days of camping, kayaking, hiking, and water play at my disposal. Green. A cold beer in stark contrast to the hot day. The open air bands. BBQ’s. Back porches. Cruising with the stereo blasting with windows down. Bicycling. Gardens filled with flowers of every color, size, and aroma. The smell of adventure. Growth.
I am a hater of winter. The violent cold that burns my skin. The endless dreary days. The early nights. The never-ending view of colorless landscape. The shiver that never leaves my body through the months and months of sunless skies. My pale skin. My tiredness. The ice and dangerous. The heating bill. Windows all shut up. The pudge that shows up and makes my pants uncomfortably tight. The endlessness of it all.
I am not remiss enough to not know there is downfalls and beauties to both. It’s only in our darkest times do we understand how beautiful our brightest days really are. It’s only in the shadows that we understand how necessary light is. It’s only in our despair that we see how desperately we need something more than ourselves. I am a firm believer in that we can only experience life as deeply as we have met it. That because I have walked and am continuing to walk through the darkest winter that when the summer comes, I will get to experience it on a deeper level. The joy and gratitude will be that much more magnified. The thankfulness will be beyond anything I could explain. I’m not sure I can ever say I am grateful for all that has transpired in my winter. But I can say that I have come to the very end of myself and realized what I am made of. And I am all the more glorious for it.