Love in winter
We did not believe winter would come so soon.
But, it did.
And so, we greet each morning with smiles and I love yous. No alarm clock needed as we leap out of bed to squeeze as much life from the day as we can.
In the bathroom, we do the silly grandma and grandpa dance we laughingly used to say we’d do at the weddings of our grandchildren...back when we expected the winter of our lives to coincide with advanced age.
Dressed for the season, we hold hands as we take our daily walk, eyes feasting on every nuance of nature that surrounds us: the animals that are born and appear to arrive to adulthood within a season; the trees whose bare branches flowered, bloomed, provided shade for a time then lost their leaves once again; the flowers that sprouted from what seemed barren earth and delighted our senses before withering away.
Every day, we walk, bike, run, making every effort to slow the progress of (to escape) winter. But, it continues to encroach upon us at a pace we cannot measure, over which we have no control.
I stand at the door or on the lawn or in the street, every time you leave our home, blowing kisses, shouting I love you, smiling so that’s what you remember when we are apart.
We pursue our professional passions, you, hoping to leave a piece of you behind for generations of strangers to remember, me, filling time until I am home, with you, again.
Sometimes our fear of winter blinds, chokes smothers and we flail about, seeking a door back to the fall we seem to have skipped entirely.
But there is no such door and life is a journey that only has one direction. Forward.
And so, we share meals, play cards or board games, then cuddle on the couch, watching sports, history, BBC America or the occasional comedy; we create new traditions like breakfast at a local pancake place every Saturday; we watch our son fall in love, and hope.
At the end of each day, you wrap yourself around me; legs and arms entwined, we are like puppies burrowing for warmth, connection. Your breath slows, along with your heart. I sigh as I close my eyes and drift, comforted by your nearness.
Winter is upon us, and so we love ever more deeply, live ever more fully, with greater awareness of each moment we are gifted, with, perhaps, a hint of desperation beneath the surface.
For there will be no spring at our winter’s end.
He was steadfast in his belief that winter could only bring empty promises and a hopeless yearning that life could be more than it really is. She had gone for a trip back to her family for the month as she did every year, but he could only think of the wet snow footprints she left that evening. That image seared into his mind in compensation for the lack of that fragrant perfume he woke up to every morning, Every year was harder then the next if only for the reason that she seemed more distant, more apprehensive of the purpose of their relationship. He felt that she continued this relationship for the sake of convenience that his job brought for both. He noticed the merry cheer of his humble neighbours, always thankful for the winter to come and beauty it always provided. He always failed to see the splendour of winter, seeing it as an oppressive afront to the less brutal and more dignified autumn. The death the autumn brought upon the world had the loveliness of its once green leaves. He felt that winter covered up the beautiful death that autumn brought and made the world dreary. He then remembered of the forest walks he had with his wife right after her trip with her family. That is how they always dealt with her long absence, he never seemed to remember all those times. Maybe because those times were always used to tackle the issues, they had with each other. It was never easy to resolve conflict when the cold sieged them at every side. When she came back this year, they did their annual forest trip. They saw the huddled masses that were the sparrows that sought familiar comfort in the warmth of their bodies against the piercing cold. Sleuthing fox could always be seen behind the mass of tree, tracking its next prey. They felt how humbled they could be basking under the stars never-ending lights. The iced river and sombre forest always provide them comfort that worldly goods could never provide, that of something ephemeral but at the same time eternal. Feeling that the forest and river might change over time, but would they always exist in one form or another for them, as a shelter from their worries. There they were, cowered over the midnight fire, hoping for a comet to fly by. She always reminding him the beauty they have here is the beauty their love brings to each other. He always wondered why he barely remembered these blissful nights, not remembering how these nights always leads to greater light when woken up by the morning’s sun.
She is a Whirlwind
Her gloved hand skates across the cold steely handrail, raking ice off into the snow as she glides down the steps.
The streetlamp’s warm, yellow light illuminates tufts of snow like a spotlight in the night air. They wander aimlessly around their actress before polka-dotting her frayed sweater.
She wraps her scarf tighter over her shoulders and dances under her spotlight. The ensemble of snowflakes sway about her in a flurry of motion. She is a whirlwind.