My emotional pendulum tends towards bluesy-ness in the deeper days of winter. Touting my own self-awareness, I have always allowed my self to lean into it, not fight what feels so natural in the world around me. A glimpse out the window reveals tall trees, darkly silhouetted against an often steel-grey sky, each individual tree set apart from the cluster of trees; the forsest that seems so integral in summer. So, too, I feel individuated, alone; narrow and darkened.
This year, too, for added measure, I have a cascade of chemicals in my body as I live in this postpartum time. Add to these things the swath of winter illness in our community. My intense need is to cover my Littles with these mama wings, thinking I can offer some sort of inoculation. This could be a perfect storm for my brewing melancholy to dive to deeper depths of blue. We’ve chosen isolation, mostly, because I am fearful to expose the Littlest to much of the world just yet, and while, with the tendrils of our own hearts, we have woven a tapestry of this new version of our family, I am still missing my larger tribe. I am choosing to stand alone, guarded tall and strong, but can’t help and yearn for deeper community, too. Living this tension of my own creation, I, like those trees, am reaching skyward alone in this season.
Which is also why this weekend, so simple in its form, was so good for my heart. I have taken to not making calendar plans for these days, and have found freedom in following our own rhythm instead. Snow pitter-pattered down around our house, making the outside world glisten a bit like a storybook tale. Still tightly tethered to the Littlest, I decline the snow adventure, though never fear! Daddy to save the day! Ever watchful from my perch, I witness the joys of winter play. Snowmen, snow angels, snowball fights, drippy snotty noses, mud thick on their boots as the snow became rain (and then back to snow again). Most of all, though, it was the brightness which delighted me. The sunshine, multiplied exponentially because of the snow, cut a path through the dust into my family room, and I followed that path around the room all morning, turning my face towards the warmth. My cheeks were tugged in the crescent of a deep smile that I couldn’t deny. Thankful, oh-so-thankful for the swath of sunlight.
It was the simple company of my family-folk, little else to do but fold laundry, and build cities, and make paintings, and read stories, and take baths, and dig our roots deep. The weekend was time carved out to bless my soul, strengthening me for other dark days to come.
Winter has it’s purpose. I know that Spring will soon be upon us, and those dark and lonely trees will sprout out tender little buds. I know, too, that this Littlest one gets stronger by the day, and soon I needn’t worry so much about his shelter. My greater tribe will still be there, continuing to march out the paces of life, and we will come alongside again, matching our footfalls to theirs. My tree-like limbs will grow strong again and leaf out to create the dense familiar green forest of summer.