I walked across an empty parking lot and turned, startled at an unfamiliar sound. Propelled by a sudden crisp wind, a single brown leaf was scraping against the asphalt. I grasped the cold metal handle and went inside the store, anxious to get warm.
“I can’t believe it’s dark already.” I said to the owner pointing in the direction of the navy sky… dotted with stars. “I know,” he replied, “before we know it, winter will be fully upon us.”
I shuddered at the thought. In winter it seems I never see the light of day. I spend the whole of my available daylight hours beneath artificial flourescent light… in front of the glow of the computer… my back to the window.
It’s hard to believe that winter is almost here again. Most of the leaves have dropped and curled at the bases of the trees while barren branches scratch at a steely sky threatening to slash it open at any time. Once torn, the ice and snow that has been patiently waiting , weighing heavily on the topside of the clouds… will fall mercilessly to the ground, coating everything in crystal.
I’ve heard it said that when spring arrives in the northern states, one realizes that people really do live here. For it is not uncommon to go months during the season without ever seeing your neighbors. People often grow discouraged this time of year as they find themselves pining for those not-long-ago endless days of summer.
On winter’s days the light is scarce. In the mornings, it is dark outside. The streets are silent, except for the occasional commuter traffic and the low roar of a lumbering school bus. There are no voices. No children shouting or laughing. By early evening, it is dark once again and the streets are quieter than ever before. It’s as though the entire world has retreated indoors while the cold and the darkness stake their claim.
Take heart my friends who find themselves despising this time of year when the days grow shorter. We oft forget this meteorological technicality, but actually it is during winter when things begin to turn back the other way! And even in the midst of the gathering darkness—if you take the time to notice—there are signs of life. Houses lit from within by the warm glow of lamp or firelight serve as beacons in the thick, black night.
Their illumination is evidence that we are merely hybernating, and once again we’ll carry on into the spring. The days will grow longer, the ground will thaw and before we know it… tender green shoots will shove their way up through the soil, pushing the snow aside.
“And everything that’s new, has bravely surfaced, teaching us to breathe. For what was frozen through, is newly purposed, turning all things green.” ~ Nichole Nordeman