Standing at the rime-rimmed window, I search the landscape for any hint of color. Winter has leached all tint from the world, leaving a melancholy world in infinite shades of ash.
My hot cup of chamomile keeps my frigid fingers warm. Steam swirls off the tea, fogging the window panes and melting the lacy ice crystals scattered over the glass.
Heat spreads through my body with the first sip, taking a little of the edge off my anxiety. This time of year is always hard for me. The lack of sunlight, having to stay indoors for days at a time, isolation from other people, takes a toll of a person’s psyche.
Growing up, my mother insisted we decorate for the holidays. Stringing white lights across every window frame and doorway, silver garland and tinsel glittering from fresh-cut pine boughs hung above the fireplace mantle. Still, no discernible color in an artificial celebration.
I think my seasonal doldrums began then. A person can’t survive in a vacuum. I need to feel alive, to see hope in a ghostly world. Rationally, I know spring will arrive and little, by little, life will bloom again. Irrationally, in the depths of my solitude, the grey seems endless.
I want, I need, sparkle.
Turning from the stark world outside, I’m greeted by a kaleidoscope of flickering hues dancing before my eyes – vivid reds and oranges, blues and greens. The briefest of smiles tugs at the corners of my mouth.