when the winter comes with rain

winterWhen the winter comes with rain, I greet it with eyes open, marveling at each puddle. I embrace the banks of fog distorting, no, enchanting the still-green earth. I like chubby clouds and the weighty atmosphere before a downpour and glitter-dropped Douglas firs after. And Christmas — oh yes, Christmas: that promise of tinsel nights and cranberry laughter, incarnate love, the infamous carolers who never actually knock on your door but you listen for their jingling footsteps anyway.

I don’t shy away from winter. I don’t huddle from the rain. So I can’t say why one morning (though not the one before and maybe not the next) I wake up with melancholy thicker than that sinister slab of sky. I can’t say why everything is fine until everything is dead, why sadness looms like booming clouds. Why suddenly that little hill of laundry looms higher than Kilimanjaro, and surely getting out of bed, even in the afternoon, merits some lifetime achievement award?

I don’t know if it’s the weather but it just might be. And I know this too shall pass, maybe at the new year, maybe with this cold front, maybe after dinner. Tomorrow may be gay and bright and lovely all again, with sparkling evergreens and umbrella-sheltered cheer. I know this. I am blind but I believe.

When the winter comes with rain, I remind myself it’s just a season, a few cold dark days in the tomb before springtime resurrection.

I am not afraid of darkness, just tired, very tired.

But today I did some laundry, and tomorrow is one day closer to the sunlight of May.


  1. Dan McDonald · · Reply

    Yesterday was so like that for me, a song from my youth rainy days and Mondays, even though it was neither rainy nor Monday seemed to express it for me. I wonder sometimes if this is not the sort of faith which pleases God immensely, you know it isn’t much a struggle when our attitudes are high and giddy, so full of a sense of joy, but when every step is like we are trudging on tired feet up a hill and still press on because somehow we know that the journey is taking us eventually to a good place and a good time. Maybe it is when it is all hard but you get a load of laundry done that words like “well done, good and faithful” might be most applied. I think maybe that is really so.

    1. Faithfulness in the little chores — yes, I agree that means something in the end.

  2. Where’s the triple, quadruple like button cause i’m so totally with you, and I get it. Very well said. You paint lovely word pictures. Here’s to “and this too shall pass.” May we see light glimmer and brightly pierce the shadows.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Marvia.

  3. I theorize that our perceptions toward weather are a learned response, and that it’s what we’re associating with the weather which produces the bulk from the differing moods. If we find the underlying element, we may see the weather as only a messenger but not the source. Identifying this may or may not allow us to separate the mood from the weather, but like most any other psychological inquiry, it’s still fun experiment to experiment with. Moral of the story: Gloominess should not be reserved for only overcast days.

    1. Interesting theorizing. I agree societal associations influence our perceptions of weather — although, if I had internalized all the jingles about white winter wonderlands, I’d probably like snow a whole lot.

  4. Oh Kate, you spoke my heart. I was actually in tears when I read your last line, because during this long seasonal descent into darkness the one thought I cling to is that when December 21 comes, we turn the corner and each day takes another glorious step, no matter how small, toward the light.

    1. Thanks for reading, Wendy, though I’m sorry you relate. (: But it’s that coming light that matters, isn’t it?

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