It has been quiet around here. Still, soft.
Snow has been on the ground for weeks. My daughter got to go sledding once, before the onset of the deep chill and the sickness.
I came down with COVID and brought it into our home, despite being vaccinated (and having had it exactly a year ago, too). A mushy, damp layer of tissues Iines the bottom of each trash can. Noses are permanently crusty. A collection of medicine measuring cups gathers around multiple sinks. We huddle under blankets, unable to throw open the windows and beckon in fresh air.
I loathe the winter. It takes away all of my favorite things. Walks with my people—my hands holding snacks, sticks, flowers, and occasionally my husband’s hand. It crushes my beloved garden, burying the evidence of last year’s life under a thick layer of rotting leaves and ice.
It takes away the sunshine. This time of year I can barely remember it’s touch on my face. My depression howls at me, begging me to bask in the sun again, to squish my toes in freshly turned soil.
So I endure. I while away time until spring first whispers. I watch the ground for the first burgeoning buds of green, knowing my life, too, has returned. I can breath again in spring.
But she is months away. And I don’t want to go dormant. I don’t want to be stuck, limbs leaden with my own sullen temper.
So I am searching for sunshine here, in the middle of this frozen tundra.
And guess what?
I’ve found some. A tiny ray dances past my eyes as my daughter squeezes me extra tight, somehow aware I need the hug more than her. A flicker warms my skin as a friend reaches out, speaking truth and encouragement. My son erupts in giggles, proudly pointing to his hat matching his dad’s. My husband offers me time for bubble baths, coffee dates, a slow morning.
I will hold onto these beams, cupping them in my hands. I will choose to lower my eyes from the horizon of the spring and look around at what today is offering.
I still have life, even with my roots deep in the ground beneath the snow.
I’ll be here—frozen and shivering, but present.