The head of the mountain is invisible, its shoulders and chest cloaked in a cloud. Around me, the flurries have quickened, the sun has darkened, and I ski off the chairlift into a storm. It’s late January, and despite my layers - my toes are numb, my face is cold, and my mood is gusting. An hour later I’m off the mountain, dry and warm - but visibility remains low.
The next morning, we’re headed to school. I load my daughter into her car seat, and with the final click of her buckle, she kicks the back of the seat in front of her, adding to her canvas of mud. I gust.
“Stop kicking my seat. You’re getting mommy’s car all dirty. Stop it!”
“Why you say stop it?”
“Because look what you’re doing to my car.”
“You happy though?”
“No, I’m not happy when you kick my seats.”
“You still love me?”
“I always love you, but I’m not happy when you get mud on my car.”
Every January I fight the blues. I hate admitting I’m affected by my climate, but the cold and cloudy days remind me to downgrade my dreams of Swedish living to a Nordic vacation. I’d love to be a monk, unfazed through breeze or blizzard, but too many days in the dark and my mood gets muddy.
“Where we going?” My daughter asks.
“Where do you think we’re going?” I ask.
"Every January I fight the blues. I hate admitting I’m affected by my climate, but the cold and cloudy days remind me to downgrade my dreams of Swedish living to a Nordic vacation."
It’s a rare sunny day. Outside the car windows, the snow shines like frozen waves of white glitter, which is what I tell myself it is while I'll check the temperature gauge counting the minutes until I can blast the heater.
“Why the snow sparkles?” my daughter asks.
“Because the sun is shining."
“Why it’s not sparkling over there?”
“Because the sun has to hit the snow just right, that part of the hill is still in a shadow.”
Sitting on my dining table is a bunch of green bananas. Most of our produce seems to ripen overnight, so I told myself these were toddler bananas, and they just needed a little more patience. But glancing over my computer screen, hungry for a smoothie, I realize I've sat them in the brightest spot in the house. Their lesson is heavy handed, but visibility is restored.
Darkness and shadows - may we have the courage to ascend into them, and the maturity to ski out.
“Why did the storm blew away?”
“Because that’s what storms do.
They come, and they go.”