Winter’s Depth

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”  ~Albert Camus, Lyrical and Critical Essays

This post is a little bit reflective … a little bit writerly … but mostly, it’s about what it means to be human and to love and laugh and cry. So, read it anyway and just maybe you’ll come away with something you needed to hear today.

Life is so painfully short.

You already know this. Even in reading those words, your eyes probably scanned over them in the same way you glance at the date on your calendar—just long enough to register what they are. But, per usual, I want you to stop and think about that for a moment.

Life is so painfully short.

We are so often inconvenienced by the small things. The chill in the air. The discomfort in your rear end during the extra five minutes spent by the side of a sick friend with whom you’ve already kept company for far too long. The destination that’s out of the way and then some. Throwing that tennis ball for the dog one more time. Writing that love letter. We have ‘things’ to do. We have agendas to keep, people to please and scenes to pen. We are busy … so so busy. Consumed even.

We are also speeding through a life that’s only being halfway lived.

I’ve been accused of saying “I love you” too often. Hugging too much. But, a very long time ago I learned that if we will only look closer, there is a gift in each and every moment we are given in this world. And more often than not, that gift is easily overlooked as we search and pine for bigger things. We set lofty goals, but forget that along the way, are all of the things that make reaching our goal so wonderful. Yeah, you’ve heard that it’s the journey … we all have. Yet, there is a huge difference in knowing that and applying it to your everyday life. It’s the same sort of warm and fuzzy moment after a good Sunday sermon or a tear-jerking movie. You know, that hour and a half where everything is suddenly more meaningful. It fades because, like most things in our fast food world, it isn’t truly absorbed.

When it comes to your writing, however, and your life, let me assure you that if you don’t slow down and savor these small things … there will come a time when you regret that choice. A moment will slip past you that you didn’t even know to hope for. A detail. A kiss. A hug. A sigh. A whispered declaration of something seemingly simple. In that lost moment, could very well be the beginning of a much larger dream you’ve been pining over for years. Had you only stopped to breathe it in, you might have caught it and hung on.

We are all so richly blessed. I say this in the midst of a parent fighting cancer, and the tail end of a painful divorce. So, don’t think this a trite bit of pithy advice. Through this years’ trials, I’ve come to further appreciate the unbelievable gifts in my life—the people who have made that life worth living. Worth continuing. I’ve never been more grateful to have resisted some of the darker thoughts that I courted these last few years. Sure, I could have avoided the pain and the lessons learned the hard way. But, my God, what I would be missing out on now.

My mistakes are countless. I’ve hurt others and then sacrificed my pride in owning those actions and the pain they caused. For that reason also, I am ‘aware’ of every day I get to live. I have more than I deserve. More than I could ever rightfully ask for. And I want nothing more than for everyone else who I have the pleasure of knowing, even virtually speaking, to be given the same kind of gratitude for the trivial. It will change your writing. It will change your life and those who have the honor of living it alongside you. Don’t let the day end without telling those you love, that you love them. Be inconvenienced. Be uncomfortable. Be silent. Touch. Whisper. Breathe.

Allow the depth of winter to show you all that it has to offer … and be everything you were intended to become in this life.

11 responses

  1. Beautifully written! This couldn’t have come at a better time. I have so often thought of you over the months and hoped you were doing the best you could. When we grieve everyone asks how you are, if you’re fine, knowing what the answer is. You have been in my prayers and your family will be too now.

  2. It’s a sad truth that it often takes the loss of something precious to make us realize exactly what we have, and what life really should mean to us. Yes, it is short, and we can never know when it will end. We should, therefore, take every opportunity to live it to the full, and to recognize the true depths and value of everyone, or everything, we love. But how often do we fail in this? It’s simply human nature, I fear, to take such things for granted, and it is a fortunate person who never has to pay for such assumptions.
    I’m glad you are surrounded by those you love, and that you can still say those loving words, and have them heard. My heartfelt prayers go to your parent fighting cancer, and also to you, that you will always have courage and strength.

  3. Oh, I’m sure there’s something in there for me. I’m feeling quite a bit depressed right now. Not feeling cheered yet, but totally get where you’re coming from and appreciate it. Again really can’t afford feeling like this now. I have a book to finish, damn it. By the way, if I may be so bold as to ask, but would you mind if I wrote you privately? I mean, not that at I will but just asking if you’d mind if I felt like it.

    Also loving Icarus! And at least one thing that eases my mind is that I won’t have to worry about my book having too much sensuality for Rhemalda. Icarus has a ton more 😉

  4. Thanks, Bre! It’s uncanny how you voice the thoughts I’ve had in recent weeks. Life isn’t about speeding through trying to get everything done. It’s about love and enjoyment…and through these, fulfillment. There’s always pain on the way. No use denying the point. Pain is how we learn and grow and become (hopefully) better.

    I hope your dad is doing well, and I wish you much happiness and peace as you deal with the matters that have cropped up in your life. Always feel free to contact me if need be.

  5. A very well written post; I found none it to be triteful, but humble words of truth. Praying for parents and you.

    • You are not self-centered and you certainly don’t come across as being self-centered. You come across as a sweethearted, kind girl and I more than appreciate all the support you’ve given me!

  6. So much truth in your words. I know I don’t comment and post as much as I use to, but I want you to know, I think about you and your struggles often and pray for you when I do. I hope it gets easier, but even the hard and painful things in life are so worth it. Keep up the fight, you are a beautiful person and a very talented writer.

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