Tuesday, October 15, 2013
My second fall in Iowa feels different. Last year I was filled with reckless joy at the cooler weather, scarvesbootssweaters, and the changing leaves. Oh, the changing leaves. It's magical and I was a little kid at the circus for the first time.
But as the story goes, fall gives way to winter. My feelings towards winter are so tangled and muddled. The snow was beautiful. Driving in it was not. The cold weather was hard but mostly bearable. The duration of winter was not. Last winter, I was going through some personal struggles that can be summed up as being a 20-something, new college grad (amen) while possibly contracting a streak of (undiagnosed) SAD. Since this is my only recent "true" winter, when I think about the impending winter, the past heartache condenses in my chest. While my mind remembers the reverent silence on the morning after a snowstorm, Christmas and cuddling under fuzzy blankets and scarvesbootssweaters; my heart reminds me of the pain and loneliness, crying into my pillow until I fell asleep next to a husband who wasn't sure how to help. The literal and figurative darkness.
And so, I approach this fall with a small amount of trepidation. I'm forced to dip my toes into the leftover puddles of winter sorrow – the ones that escaped the thaw of spring and summer. I'm pressing on, delighting in each new color of fall, enjoying pumpkins and apple pie and soup, and well yes, scarvesbootssweaters. But I'm also stocking up on Vitamin D and praying earnestly for fortitude. It's time to flex the toughness I've gained from last year while leaning on the One who promises strength and light amidst the darkness.