The cold hurts this morning.
I think it hurts the most in November and February.
November... because I don't want winter to get a grip so tight she won't let go...
..and February because my heart hopes every year for an early Spring.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick.
The cold is relentless.
It pinches and leaves a mark.
The last two weeks have left me bruised all over.
The last few months..well...
I am weary.
The effort a typical "Canadian Winter" demands on any given day is staggering.
Have you seen the entryway to my house???
Boots, coats.mismatched mittens and one-of-gloves...scraggling scarves I should have thrown out last year...
Mess mess mess.
Dressing to brave the elements steals a chunk of time from my day that is no longer available for other things.
More important things.
The volume of clothes I put on restrict my movements.
I feel heavier.
This is NOT a good thing!
I sound like a whiner even to my own ears.
But I do have some excuse..
I have a rare condition that makes the cold even worse.... cold induced urticaria
I bet you never knew that about me.
I huddle in my house for most of the winter dressed in layers of socks and shirts, wrapped in fleece blankets and drinking pots of coffee.
The funny thing is, I can't stand a hot house. I need fresh air.
And so..from October through to May in this beautiful land of winter...this wonderful country called Canada..which I love...my body fights...the battle rages.
There are days when I teeter on the brink of being cold all day long.
I look out at the sun...
I sit in the rays that blaze through the window into my south-facing kitchen..
...and pray for Spring...dream of Summer...
And I grow..and learn and I let winter teach me her lessons.
She is my most diligent, most passionate, most thorough teacher.
She gets the job done.
There is a book I walk past many times a day.
It stands on it's edge, behind some do-dad in it's little cubbyhole on my shelf.
Every time my eyes slide by it I can hear the words inside echo in my head.
I bought my first copy of this book for my mom after my dad divorced her.
Yes. it's one of those books.
The second, I bought for myself.
The illustrations in this book are comprised of dots.
Simple dots make up every picture on every page.
The message is Bold. Captivating. Sharp like a scapel.
There are days when just the title is enough:
by Mary Fahy
I found my copy of this book at a second hand bookstore for $3.
I love second hand books.
I always think of the hands that held the book before mine.
The person that purchased it...that read it..or gave it away...that hoped it would help...
Are those tear stains?
That corner was folded down...and I know why...
Did they pause here and breathe deep, the sharpness of the knife going deep???
No anesthetic for voluntary surrender.
I pray for them again today..the person who gave up this treasure that sits on my shelf and instructs my soul.
I pray they survived...
...that they reached deep with their roots and high with their branches...
...that they now thrive.. in the sun...
"I survived the winter!" the tree exulted
I have so been there.
"I have survived the winter, " the tree sighed, "and I have grown."
And I will be again.
I have also been here...
~~ But then she stopped.
For the memory of the hard winter sent through her a stab of anger and pain
that she thought spring had healed.
'Where were you when I needed you,' she cried to the sun...didn't you see me shivering?
I became so brittle..my roots became paralyzed..my bark cracked...
...and I missed you.~~
I am cold again today.
The fight leaves it's mark on my body and my mind.
I woke with tears threatening...for no apparent reason.
Weeping endures for the night they say..
...well some times I get my days and nights switched around.
But I know....deep in my deepest...deep in that place...
I know ...
Like the morning.
Like the sun.
And I am warmed.