It’s winter in Portland. Or perhaps you’ve not noticed.
I, on the other hand, am painfully aware.
Having grown up in this rainy state, I really shouldn’t be surprised to find myself in this place again, blindsided by the wave of sadness that envelopes me so abruptly and completely this time of year. It doesn’t seem to get any easier.
Seven years beneath the sun-kissed skies of California and I’d almost forgotten what it felt like to want nothing more in life than to waste away time in bed all day and night; to curse the daylight for making me do life again. To loathe the very skin I wear so thoroughly. To bemoan the very things that normally bring me so much life. But alas I am here, trying to shake this old, SAD companion of mine all over again.
This time of year the clouds seem to hang lower in the sky, sluggishly slinking in with their oppressive gray to seal shut the expanse between heaven and earth. Leeching color from a once vibrant landscape, laying it bare, they expose the remains of a desolate and somber frame. The passing days slip by without much distinction within these ominous and wearisome walls; wandering indiscriminately about them I silently wonder how much longer God will give sanction to these relentlessly lonesome months.
It’s a strange sensation to feel so disconnected from oneself. To catch the reflection of a stranger where you expect to find your own. And I don’t know how to get her back, that person who lights up these eyes so vacant as of late. She’s in there somewhere, I’m sure of it, just hibernating away these cold, cold days.
And these are my truths. Or at least, in part they are, as much as I hate to admit it. Because the most challenging lie to overcome in the midst of these dreary, bitter-cold seasons is the notion that this Great Sadness is mine alone to bear; that I am all alone and untouchable in this place. Like the cartoon character wandering about a beautiful day beneath a personal and all encompassing rain cloud that no one else can see. That is what it feels like.
Enter: Deidra Riggs.
And as I was standing on the cusp of the frozen river, in below freezing temperatures in Nebraska with my dog, I heard the Lord say, “No, still not close enough. Closer! I have something to show you.” And so I did. And as I got closer, beneath the ice I could see the river running, and little sprigs of grass from the riverbed peeking out to declare, “Spring is coming, spring is coming, spring is coming!”
And that’s about the precise moment the dam broke. And all the things that had grown numb and been frozen by the ice and cold suddenly began to thaw; feeling began to creep its way back into my fingers and toes, making it’s slow but certain journey through my limbs, eventually making its way to my heart. It’s a painful process at first, as with all things that participate in the forging of new life. And before I have a moment to take inventory, I notice moisture has welled up from behind these distant eyes, quickly moving to carve out a forgotten path down my cheeks.
There she is.
Spring is coming, spring is coming…
Spring is coming.