Winter’s long hand is blanketing the world outside my door. The crystalline white swirls down, reaching over everything to hide color and light. Even the busy road vanished, now a silent empty reminder of travelers I’ve never met.
Somewhere in the distance soft light promises to break the spell, but I know it’s simply an illusion — my personal mirage in an entirely new desert.
On days like these the only sound is her laughter. Some video or other amuses her twelve year old mind into a fit of temporary joy, and I’m thankful to hear something other than my own thoughts. She’ll be here for a handful of years yet. Experience has taught me they’ll go fast, too fast, then she’ll tackle the world outside our door with fire and passion. Though I’ll miss her laughter desperately, I won’t hold her back, even if I could. She deserves a shot at making this life everything or anything her brilliant mind can imagine.
I see the stinging loneliness ahead, but don’t weep. In this weather, my tears would freeze before hitting the ground, and the beauty of this place inspires more quiet smiles than sorrow.
The only thing left is to wait and wonder what comes next, though all I see is the snow. No brilliant images of a house full of laughter. No fiery dreams of a hopeless romantic. No illusions of life other than the gentle cold of winter.
And in this I find peace.
The last few years have been brutal, and my passion for tasting life wanes with each passing day. Less of a retreat, more of a slow slipping into concrete reality. In the hollow left behind, no sound or pain exists, not even a whisper. And, in most ways, I grateful to finally understand there is nothing more than walls, laughter, and crystalline water.
Outside the world is still and cold, waiting for the promise of spring. Inside, it’s warm and laughter breaks the din of an otherwise motionless day.
Somewhere beyond my view things are changing, and I can’t help but smile with somewhat giddy anticipation. Perhaps I wait for spring as well. Perhaps this dormant hibernation is simply a time to reorganize priorities and put a too long past to rest in the hard ground. Whatever the reasons, this isolation suits me for now, so I have to believe its purpose is yet to be revealed.
And in this I find hope.
Winter’s long hand will rest soon enough. For now, I cherish quiet days and the giggling of a not-so-little redheaded child.