There’s a calmness in the winter
the stillness and the silence
bundling up under several layers
just to go watch the dog run around outside
and come back inside to a piping hot cup of hot chocolate
hands like icicles, wrapped around the mug, warming.
December can feel like a separate world from reality,
everyone bustling to get ready for the holidays
while maneuvering around the first real snowstorm of the season
and I sit here drinking my hot chocolate
and the world stops for a minute
and I know,
if only for a moment,
will be okay.
The sticky summer air
wants to know how I’ve been
since we last talked.
I’ve had my ups and downs
but I’m here now.
I didn’t find God
but I did find a purpose
hidden somewhere between the stationary aisle of CVS
and New England in September.
Sometimes winter feels like going
through hell and back just to
feel summer warmth again
but it’s worth it
or at least there’s some gratitude
as I’m sitting under
a cherry blossom
and I feel myself blossom,
It was warm
I felt whole
you smiled at me
and I knew
I’d be alright.
We’d get through winter
and all its cold nights
and we already got through February
and for some reason
it’s warm today
and we’re sitting outside
drinking pink lemonade
like it’s summer already
and you look at me
and you smile
and I smile, too
and we know
we’re exactly where we should be.
It was the smell of spring that brought me back,
it was the heat radiating off the gravel.
It was the first time I remembered how to smile
after my final breakdown last winter.
It was the feeling of knowing things will work out
despite not knowing how to get there.
It was the relief after the weight in my chest lifted,
I’ll be okay and nothing can stop that.
I had gone bitter, I realized, lying on my floor at 7 pm. Lights off, music playing, thoughts ruminating like a bad storm. I tend to relate my feelings to the weather, and the weather affects my mood. We have that kind of relationship. And today it was windy, cold, and dark. I felt it deep inside my chest.
I spent a long time forcing myself to fall in love with boys who weren’t worth it while hating myself. Under the impression that having someone else love me equated to me loving myself. If he could do it, I wouldn’t have to. Maybe if someone else loved me, I could understand what there was to love about myself. But that’s not how it works.
And I spent so much time in half-assed relationships with people who only wanted to hurt me, and I don’t blame them. I should. And I did for a while. But I realized they hated themselves just as much as I hated myself, and I understood why they stayed for so long.
And I sit here, laying on the floor in my darkened room, and I realize I’ve gone bitter. I’ve always kind of been bitter, but I got just bad enough sleep this week to acknowledge my bitterness. And the music, its own agenda about breakups, have me thinking back on my exes and all the damage they did.
And I don’t blame anyone for my bitterness. I don’t even blame myself. I know it’s just today. It’s just the weather and it’s just my lack of sleep. But there’s moments when I’m not so sure.
And I don’t think anyone could make me feel as free as when I’m walking down the suburb streets I know so well, mid-summer, the wind at my back, headphones in playing my favorite song.
I don’t think anyone could make me feel the relief of the sudden chill in the air after months of overheating, finally wearing my favorite jacket, going for a walk and seeing mushrooms after it rained.
I don’t think anyone could make me feel as safe as looking out my window in the morning after the first snowfall of winter, the warmth from my blankets contrasting with the cold of the windowsill.
I don’t think anyone could make me feel as hopeful as the first day in spring when it starts to warm up, after months of bundled up, freezing temperatures and I can sit outside and work on this or that.
And I don’t mind. Because the seasons could never remember my favorite color or the way I like my coffee. The seasons couldn’t hold my hand or give me their jacket when I get cold. I fell in love with the seasons, and they come and go and I fall in love with each change, but they could never make me feel as wanted as a text saying, “this made me think of you.”
A blanket of white
coats the ground outside.
Safely tucked away inside,
warm under a blanket
with my morning coffee,
I watch as the snow
falls from the trees
in the gentle wind.
And as I sit here I know
life goes on.
I miss my carefree nature,
I miss the wind at my back,
I miss the way the sun beams glowed
early summer mornings.
I miss watching the sunrise
from my bedroom window,
and I miss watching the sunset
on the beach with the dog.
I miss the simplicity,
and how I knew it’d all be fine.
Sometimes winter gets so cold,
I fear I’ve gone as bitter as the wind.
Tea in the afternoon,
hard at work on this or that
and the sun shines through the window, cracked.
Tea on the windowsill,
a gentle breeze cools the drink.
It’s not as cold as it’s been lately
and the smell of fresh air
brings a sense of nostalgia
for when I had no troubles,
spending all my time running around outside.
I have this obsession with nostalgia
and I think it’s because I’m so eternally exhausted
and I miss the feeling
of optimism and pure delight
I only truly had as a child.
I’m only 22
but I’ve been through enough
to deserve this cup of tea
and a moment of clarity.
The grass turned green
and the snow melted;
hope came back.
Echoes of strangers saying
“So nice out today,”
followed by another stranger’s
“enjoy it if you can.”
I smile and agree,
I always hated small talk, though.
“Medium iced mocha”
I tell the barista.
“Iced, good choice.”
“So nice out today.”
I pay and take my coffee
to a table in the corner.
If I take my notebook out,
they won’t talk to me.
But is that what I want?
That’s what my anxiety tells me,
but I don’t mind a little small talk
if it leads to a real conversation.
But it always starts with the same
“So nice out today, huh?”