And I scream for the sunlight
or a car to take me anywhere
just get me past this dead
and eternal snow.
And I swear that I'm dying,
slowly, but it's happening
so if the perfect spring
is waiting somewhere.
Just take me there.*
Every February I come close to hitting an icy patch and spinning out of control into snow banks that are way over my head. By February, it's been months since I've felt the sun directly warm my bare skin because I've been living under layers of clothing trying to stay warm. By February, weeks often pass without seeing so much as a glimmer of sunlight break through gray Chicago skies. By February, I've been storming around the house yanking open all of the curtains and blinds while praying for streams of light to flood through my windows and soak into my groggy mind. By February, I'm ready to load my kids into the car and drive until I find some sun, some warmth, to soothe my bleak winter-weary heart. By February, Seasonal Affective Disorder, the winter blahs, cabin fever -- whatever you want to call it -- takes it's toll on me.
I don't just merely like summer. I love summer. I crave summer. I need summer to simply survive.
All winter long, I find myself trying to stay balanced on a tight rope that leads to spring and sunshine without falling off into the pits of winter-induced depression. If I can stay steady, if I can balance relatively well on the line, I only slightly lean into few-day stretches of extreme cabin fever or mild winter blues. But if I'm not careful, if I don't watch where I place my feet as I take each step, I find myself flailing headfirst into something much more than just blues. I find myself lost in lonely, dark places.
So I watch each step I take during these bleak winter months. I increase my vitamin D. I exercise daily. I eat fruits and vegetables with every meal. I budget enough time for sleep. I leave the house once a day. I read my Bible to warm myself in His light. I open all of the curtains and sprawl out in front of the windows bathing in sun rays during days when light breaks through the clouds. It's almost a full-time job in itself, trying to walk this line.
But I've suffocated amid the piles of snow in winters past. I've been frozen solid to the ground in the palm of a wintry grip unable to break out of exhausting funks. I've been stranded in shadows of days upon days without sunshine. And I don't want to be there again. So I pray. And I tread carefully. And I read. And I find light, glimmers of hope, promises in the one place that never dims.
"As long as the Earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." Genesis 8:22
And I hang on because spring isn't far off. It's not "If Winter Ends" as the singer laments, it's when.
*If Winter Ends, Bright Eyes