A little over two weeks into our official winter and colder than ever already it seems. It is a month I dreaded for many years. A month I approached with much reservation. One in which I lost both my parents at fairly young ages, within three calendar days apart. (Although seventeen years, still three calendar days in January.) Close enough for me to consider it an anniversary death. The dreading of it started insididiously, as one can imagine. Each year, at the same time, cold, gray, monotonous, January, then, “Oh, no those horrible memories of losing them both so suddenly when we were all so young”. I held on to it for years until one year, just before New Years day it dawned on me that I didn’t have to. Out of the blue came this thought, a revelation that I could change my mind. I could make a choice. Choose to like January instead of hating it. And just like that, I did. I realized that thirty plus years of Januarys equalled a whole bunch of months which combined summed up to a few years of my life that I fully hated. And why? Habit. And I suppose some entirely unnecessary self inflicted survivor guilt. These were the only reasons I could come up with. Strange, the things that can slip by over time if we’re not vigilantly aware ourselves. Oh, but I was aware enough. I fully admitted to hating January every chance I got, and then some. It was just that, with the advantage of youth, I never completely realized that over a lifetime, the time given in a single month of each year accumulates. So also does it’s emotional toll, as does the waning of youth. It’s been several years since I dropped my January Ball of Baggage. I no longer fear the first month of each year. I see it with fresh eyes. There is a bit more daylight between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m.; something I never noticed back in the day, but rejoice in now. The sun sits at an incredibly awe striking angle, glinting off the water, the ice crystals, and snow, giving it all a surreal, dreamlike quality which to me is strongly reminiscent of pure, innocent childhood. The morning air, if you allow, can refresh your spirit and your skin like that of an angel’s kiss. The greatness of our ocean’s breath appears, hovering heavenly above it’s surface reminding us that our very existence is so quintessentially small. The night sky, a color like no other. Crisp, clear, purple, blue, violet, magneta; orange, gold, yellow, silver, white, sparkle, shimmer, shine…
And it gets colder. And we huddle closer. And we keep the home fires burning.
It is January.
It is winter.
And it is lovely.