I loathe winter. I loathe the cold. I don't dislike it. The cold seeps into my core and no matter how hard I try, I can't warm up. And I can't shake the depression that overwhelms me, even with flax seeds, flax seed oil, fish and milk in my diet.
I don't think it's Seasonal Affective Disorder anymore. I think it's the lack of outdoor activity.
There is a rhythm to the Earth. A rhythm to walking on a dirt path, tree branches passing overhead, the grasses a tapestry of various hues hiding wildlife.
The footsteps my heartbeat, the grasses the swishing of breathe, the hidden life a reminder that the world goes on. There might be troubles with Iran and Syria and Wall Street and the Occupy Movement and SOPA.
But on the trail, they are gone. They will be handled. And I will have my strength when I return home to bear hearing my Babcia's voice telling me over and over how she wished in her life that we could spent more time together.
I reconnect with the earth and accept life as it is when I am outdoors. I breathe in and out and feel everything is where it should be.
I can sense the life, people and animals and plants, that were on this soil before me.
I can sense the creation that has been before me, that is now, and that will create again when I am gone. Call it Science, call it God, in the end, it is the same thing. A wonderfully orchestrated amazing and unending Creator. One that works with a rhythm. Like feet on a trail in the woods. A heartbeat.
In the cold winter, the frozen ponds and unceasing winds, there is no rhythm. Not one I can hear. There is only a rushed herding of children from house to car to building and a feeling of being breathless for a moment afterwards.
And then, that moment afterwards when the warmth returns to you, when you catch a breath that isn't so cold that it burns, when you feel your heartbeat again.
Santa Claus brought me a bearable winter this year.
It's January and just now the pond has finally frozen enough to bear my weight. The geese are just now assembling and honking their way across the skies toward the warmth of the South.
My children's bare hands in my bare hands and we smile at each other and talk. And our breathe doesn't hurt.
I can talk to them about the millions of shades of winter. The browns, the blues, the muted greens and reds and yellows. The animals sleeping. Waiting for Spring.
We are walking. The rhythm of the Earth beneath me.
Winter on the Prairie (January 2011)
Winter Wonderland (February 2011)
Frozen Pond (December 2011)