During this year, that has been the most difficult year of my life, it's hard to accept Winter. With Winter comes the holidays. Those bright, sparkling days that are meant to be filled with light and laughter and spending time with family and friends.
I could never understand the people that would bemoan the holidays and dread the thought of putting up a tree and having to don a smile when they could barely remember what a smile is. This year I understand. I wish I was still living in my happy bubble that allowed me to look at those people with befuddled confusion. However, this year I face the holidays five loved ones short of what I did last year. Because finding a cave in the woods, snuggling up to a couple of bears and hibernating until Spring isn't an option, I put up a tiny tree, and decorated my mantle while trying to don a happy face.
What does this particular Winter mean to me? Winter...when the leaves are fallen from the trees and the chill in the air cuts through to my bones. I needed a few days to think about it. This Winter for me is a time of rest. It is a time when I can take my days slowly and allow my mind and my heart to heal. It is a time that I have to go through, this time of bitter cold and long, dark nights, until one day I will wake up and hear birds singing outside my window. It is a dark time before the earth becomes warm again and that little crocus will be peeking up through the snow. It is a time of reflection and holding onto hope...that precious gift that whispers to my mind “this too shall pass”. Hope is what this Winter is for me. Hope that next Winter I will be one of those people filled with light and laughter. Hope that I won't be just wearing a smile but that one will burst from within because it cannot be held back. Hope, that final bit that was left in Pandora's box that allows us to continue when our world falls apart around us.