26 January 2009

Signs of Life

We are deep into January. It isn't too cold most of the time, and last week's snow is highly unusual. The weather can seem a little bleak. This morning as I look out my windows I see mist in every direction. The mist is damp and cold, but it gives the illusion of distance. Are those mountains out there (not really, just rolling hills and the shadow of trees)? Even on the bleakest days, I am still surrounded by beauty and character. Some of the frailest of people, turn out to be the strongest. Like this old tree, it has obviously been through a lot, yet it is still strong.

One of the reasons I write this blog is to take a mental break from school and work. I don't
usually discuss either here, however, this post is about hope. The personal kind, not the public and commercial kind.

I am a Medical-Surgical Nurse and I often work with patients who probably won't make it. Some days are rough. I will not discuss individual patients,
their privacy is sacred. What I will say is that
sometimes the sheer frailty of the body brings out the majesty of the spirit. I am constantly amazed at how kind the average person is when either they or their loved ones are seriously ill. That gives me hope.
January is a bleak month to many people. there isn't enough sunshine to keep us happy. Seasonal Distress Disorder has been studied for years. Mother nature seems to be holding her breath. Autumns glories are gone, the holidays are over. Snow isn't fun anymore and spring seems so very far away.
Yet, we are still surrounded by beauty. Evening sunlight in the tree tops. Early morning frost patterns on the ground.
I have mistletoe growing high in the oak trees.
If the oak leaves did not fall, we would never see it. I did not even know it would grow here, but there it is.
Moss and likens grow year round. They provide color and texture to my rock garden when the little flowers are sleeping.
I live in the woods. Pine Beetles have destroyed many trees in the local area. Last summer we had to decide whether we should have our pines harvested, or watch them all die. We had them harvested. We still have a lot of trees, but our personal woods are much less dense. When the leaves fell off the remaining trees, our woods seemed even thinner. Nature here does not give up. Some pines have been replanted in nice straight rows. Many more have sprung up voluntarily. Seeing these little beauties at the side of the road
reminds me that even a forest can grow again.
There is an old saying, I believe it is Chinese, that tells us "Every once in a while, you need to get a rock in your shoe. Then you will appreciate it when you don't have a rock in your shoe."
Maybe the bleaker aspects of January are to remind us of just how lucky we are.
Besides, it is no fun stretching out in front of the fire, if it isn't cold outside. I hope you are as cozy as I am right now, and I hope you feel as lucky as I do.

1 comment:

  1. My dad has been telling me the same thing about bleak January ever since we moved to NJ. I miss the year-round warmth of Chas and complain to him about it. He's told me that I will appreciate the warmth of the summers now that it's seasonal. I do, but get very sad in the fall. I really hate cold. Seasons are very pretty to see (and I'm glad my kids will be raised with them), but painfully cold!


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