The wind blows strong tonight. It rattles at the window panes and howls through the cracks and corners of the cabin. Streams of dusty snow mimic the flow of the borealis. Even though I am sitting near the wood stove, I feel winters icy fingers as it grasps desperately for my flesh.
With an involuntary shiver, I can’t help but think of my sentence in purgatory. Winter’s end brings both sadness and joy. It will be good to see spring and the life that its warmth brings it; but the transitional month is the most dangerous time of all.
The frozen creeks and streams which were winter’s highways are now untrustworthy for passage. The snow lies heavy in the trees, ready to fall at a moment’s notice. The prey has long learned how to better hide themselves from the predators. In turn, the predators have grown lean and desperate with hunger. Anything moving now is a target.
The worst of all is the darkness. Like a cruel warden, it taunts you on your last leg of your sentence and never lets you forget where you are and who’s in charge. All your distractions are gone and all your mind can focus on is the moment when the daylight comes and you can be free again.
Some can’t make it. The pressure gets too much for them to bear and they foolishly run out without respect or care for the changes going on around them. They either fall through the melting ice or they injure themselves in a deadly cascade of tree fallen snow or avalanche. Others can’t handle it at all and end everything in ways I’d rather not talk about. It’s a hard time when all that’s done is done. When all thoughts are thought. When everything had been seen, read, or heard; and there is nothing left. In this darkness, when you are waiting alone for the light, is when you find yourself.
You can succumb to the long dark or you can step out past your front door and look up to see the bright stars piercing through the heavy dark. That there is still light in the world. That the ribbon of color called Aurora still happily dances in the night sky. That all these gifts are still there for those who choose to see and enjoy them. For their time is limited. Soon the sun will come and their light will be hidden by the warm glow of summer.
Remember to take this moment and enjoy them.