As we trudged through the snow in the gray morning, the season hit me. Not Christmas; that season is glitz and glitter and show and Look at Me. But rather, something older, quieter, heavier.
The season of darkness.
The season of going inward, the quiet hush when nothing grows. The heaviness of many blankets keeping you warm and covered while the cold holds court. The pops of color berries and Cardinals bring to remind you that deep - very deep - within, there are embers waiting to come alive.
All to often, we use the busyness of Christmas to distract us from the realities of this time of year. It's meant to be a quiet, cozy, burrowed-in time of year. However, when you spend too much time alone with yourself and your thoughts, you start having to face things.
But lights and presents and mistletoe and parties keep the darkness at bay, don't they? Not that there is anything wrong with that at all. In fact, there is something to be said for a little raucousness to light the way as we head toward the darkest 24 hours of the year.
But today, watching my dog run joyously after snowballs, I realized the simple beauty of slowing down and going inward. Today's grayness and blanket of white do not bring me despair, or frustration, or anger. Today, I appreciate the opportunity to see the beauty around me.
Stark, exposed, and stunning.