In October, days became darker and darker. It began turning colder in Portland. The sun became shy, rarely revealing itself to those of us aching for warmth.
I felt myself slipping into a very sad and lonely place. And it was dark, so dark. Then came November and a Thanksgiving spent with a wonderful and generous family. Nevertheless, that family was not my own, and the longing for a special someone to share the holiday season with began to hammer at my heart. Somehow, the already black days became even darker.
December was cold and felt like betrayal. December didn't care about me. December shared joy with others, but left me out. I was alone at Christmas (by choice) and alone in my room on New Year's Eve. I can't remember the last time I wasn't the center of attention at midnight on New Year's Eve, because, being so tall, I am usually the ball dropper. But 2004 was different. I sank into my bed, relieved at the year's end and a little drunk, at 9:30 on December 31.
This past weekend, Portland streets were covered with ice. The world was dark and cold and frozen. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get warm. My heart was cold, and my lazy body felt frozen and lame.
Last night the world started to warm up. The weather became milder, and I removed my stocking cap and gloves as I walked to the car with a new friend. I felt different inside. Something foreign had taken root in my heart. It was a feeling of "maybe..."
Kisses can warm more than lips. A kiss can plant hope in your heart, and hope grows so quickly. This morning I stood in The Vortex with a cup of coffee and was amazed at how warm the weather has suddenly become. I watched a gray pine tree change colors before my eyes. "Ah, yes. That's right. Pine trees are green, not gray," I suddenly remembered. The whole world changed from dirty gray to vibrant green this morning. The sun peeked through a cloud-covered sky and reminded me it was still there. I smelled rich earth and basked in this welcome feeling of hope. Water dripped from the lush pine boughs, and the ice became a memory. My heart thawed out, took in a gulp of air, and gasped a thankful sigh of relief.
Hope is returning to me after a long dark absence. I've never been more thankful to be reunited with an old friend.