Dark windows made our kitchen seem smaller as we sat wrapped up in our sweaters at the dinner table. Our old heater belched out only enough warmth for the central core of our 50’s ranch house, so we stayed in the kitchen or living room as much as possible. I yawned into my pasta for the third time since I’d gotten home from work. Early winter nights tricked us into thinking it was 10:30 pm instead of 5:30 pm. Finally, after cleaning up the dishes our weariness drove us into pajamas and under the covers to surrender to sleep.
Although my body was tired, my mind still sought to settle accounts with the day. Why was I so weary? My week had not been any more arduous than previous months. Yet December seemed to suck the marrow from my bones. In my mind, I could see my calendar, with the final month of 2016 barely hanging on by a staple. For many people, this year could not pass quickly enough, with its disasters, both natural and man-made. In the back of my mind I could still hear their harsh whispers, but my foundation held fast.
As the year wound down to its final days, I could hear its slowing tick tock. Bitter cold weather mirrored my own bleakness. As I looked out into the black night, my unfulfilled dreams blocked the shimmering stars. This year was five years worth of years – musical productions, writing projects, travel, new curriculum, new principal, and my first published articles. New friends made and old friends made closer. But my three year novel still waits, finished but not finished. So many obstacles remain.
And so I suffer a winter sadness, a darkness that encroaches upon my usual positive nature. It feels like the end of a movie, when the magic is over and you have to walk back out into the lobby. I have to leave the writer’s created world to walk back into the real one.
I pull my comforter close around me and close my eyes, hoping to drift into dreams of the year to come.