“In a way, winter is the real spring-time when inner things happen, the resurgence of nature.” Edna O’Brien, Irish Poet
Winter, particularly this winter, can weigh one down—way down.
Spring lightens our hearts. But most of us only feel spring when blossoms bloom and baby birds peep.
For me, spring starts Dec 21st, when the days get longer, if only by the minute. It’s a comfort to realize that whatever else might be troubling me, at least each day is longer in light. That lightens my mind, like a beach on a snowy day.
I never did like short daylight. Maybe it’s a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, a good name for it.
Sure, there’s a plus to longer darkness; it keeps one inside, perhaps to read, look inward, maybe grow a bit. Maybe that’s what Irish Poet O’Brien meant about …” winter is the real spring-time when inner things happen…” Perhaps we can look inward and see ourselves and those around us clearer.
But light is life; it’s action, it’s taking long walks on the sand or biking the boards. And even indoors, diffused light playing through the window bathes an image with grace, even when reflected off a menu in Ireland.
Dec 21st of this most vicious year—2020—was for most of America, hitting bottom. We’re on the way up.
No, we’re not “rounding the bend” yet, but we have the means to recover. Graphs of the dead still towering like the steepest Olympic ski ramp will only rise higher. By May, the peak might be twice the height.
Hospitals today are crushed by numbers; body bags are on backorder, cities are deserts.
And too many Americans think they are safe in their cocoon of relative youth. But the CDC reports: In ages 18 to 49, the total deaths are 10,423. So, if your friend says, “I know a guy who had it, and he said it was like a cold,” be wary. You might end up cold—and stiff.
Even if you younger folk survive with little or no complications, you still are a churner. Gathering for fun, for socializing, without caution, can kill someone, someone you know or don’t know.
I recall Marine Corps training about how one Marine slapping a bug on his cheek can cause others to die, sometimes, many others. What was needed was self-discipline, and we learned to develop it. It’s something I’m sad to say is often missing in civilian America. But it is available—if one looks inside. It just takes a bit of grit—and I think you all can find your grit—and save lives.
In the meantime, we more vulnerable need to gear up for the long run to make up for youthful thoughtlessness and need for immediate gratification. Be ever more diligent in our quest for survival, because survive we will.
But seeing spring in December, with longer daylight hours and vaccines in bloom, is a shot in the arm of America. We are bounding upward—well-armed.
Vaccines will help us rise toward “normal.” Vaccines will bring the nearness of family, once again: the hugs, the kisses, the laughter at dinner tables.
As the days grow longer—and the numbers vaccinated grow greater—more of us will remain—above ground.
More will be alive to smell May’s blossoms.
More will hear peeps that gladden our beating hearts.
More will be alive next Christmas to say—”Made it!”
May all my readers, along with those I love, be among them.
Categories: COVID Spring