When the living room is devoid of tree and garland, and the last scraps of wrapping paper have been bagged up and taken to the curb, and the oven is cold after weeks of nearly continuous use…that’s when you are most vulnerable. That is when it finds you, and settles into your winter weary bones, and takes root. Perhaps it is the post-holiday blues, or something to do with less daylight, or less laughter, or less…something.
But it comes nonetheless; it always does. Some years it hits harder than others. No reason why, really. It just does.
Simple things slip your mind. Routine broken, it is easy for things to fall through the cracks. And it is hard to even think; the house is both too loud and too quiet. The frigid winds make outdoors unbearable, but inside the air hangs heavy, unmoving, suffocating.
The store shelves are picked over. Discount holiday paper and stale Christmas cookies are stacked next to Valentine’s Day candies and heart wielding teddy bears; the last of the winter coats languish just a rack over from brightly colored bikinis.
A strange time, this. And I, caught between the pull of winter and the promise of spring, find myself ripping at the seams under the strain of this seasonal tug o’ war.
I find solace where I can: in my books, my words, and deep in my head; in warm socks, and hot tea, and a dram of whisky to cast off the chill; in stories, and crackling fires, and the promise of something…well, of something. Something beyond the cold, and the tired, and the weary.
I feel sadness on me.