The gray days of early winter cause SAD weeks before its time these last few weeks. Ennui threatens my soul. For the first time ever I understand those who mourn in winter for the loss of sunshine outside, and thus, inside the mind and soul. The sun has refused to shine day after day after day. At least it only has to try for eight short hours, right? It is difficult to concentrate on happy things when a film of gray covers everything. I shake myself, so to speak, trying to adjust to something positive.
This morning thinking about the fact that Christmas is almost here in effort to cheer up, I decide to scribble away this growing angst. The sun actually makes a feeble effort to emerge through the gray of cloud cover and falling snow. There’s a slanted grid of yellow on two walls here by the fire. Not very bright and not clear, but certainly there. Just like what’s inside. Dim and sometimes fading, but I hold on tenaciously to what little there is. Because, what else can we do?
One thing we did was to take a walk in the woods. We had gone up to the cabin for the last day of hunting season for which Elv and Brad each had a tag. Lo and behold, the sun came up in a clear, blue sky that morning. So after breakfast, Elv pronounced that he would show me the beaver ponds. Nothing makes me happier than a tramp in the winter woods and swamp. Nothing. And the sunshine was awesome making all the colors of blue and green and white and gray fantastic with sparkling play everywhere. The cloud inside my head hadn’t a flying chance either. We found that the beavers have been terracing the creek/swamp area east of the cabin. The resulting three pools are ice covered and begging skaters right now, and in summer there will be three, blue-shimmering pools almost at the foot of our lawn.
Now I understand why people have worshiped the sun. The lift of sunshine beautifying the lovely and the mundane alike … my own mind as well, flooded everything causing such keen gratefulness. I am a Son worshiper, but I understand sun worshipers better now. Thank God, we know Him and can worship Him as Creator of our beautiful world around us.
Lichen is fascinating. It appears to need to grow in at least threesomes of varieties on the same bit of decomposing wood or clinging to shallow soil on rocks. Interdependent, like we are, as people. All winter it holds on and feathers this dead spruce tree from roots to treetop. One of these days the tree will topple and crumble on to the forest floor; lichen still clinging and thriving. Next spring the lichen will be the first to green, flower, and grow. For the careful observer there will be fairy gardens among the melting patches of snow. I’m likin’ the lichen. It is not unlike the hope that waits inside my mind while Christmas approaches. The clouds will break, too, one of these days. They will.
Another thing for cloudy days this time of year is Cookie Day. We gather up as family or friends to bake and decorate dozens of cookies. The children “help” by tasting and frosting the shapes, but mostly by playing outdoors and keeping it down to a dull roar when they’re indoors. The babies nap and we ladies have quiet talks and coffee breaks between rushings to and fro of hot pans of cookies and dippings of pretzels and buck-eyes.
In the end the carolers will have cookie plates to hand out and gatherings will have sweets carefully arranged, charcuterie style for snacking. Christmas is coming.
Unto Us a Son Is Given. Let Him shine in my heart so brightly that everyone can clearly see Him. While the gray days pass, (because they do, I promise); let me not lose heart.
So we choose to contentedly live within and to beautify right where we are, whether in a stable, or in the northern, short day places in an old log cabin. Christmas comes to everyone. Jesus was born for everyone. God Bless Us, Everyone.