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Hope and Memories: Wishing For Spring

The sky could not be any grayer. My mood could not be any darker. My hopes and dreams could not be any more ethereal.  The first winter wind has yet to cross the border fence, and autumn has not yet died, let alone been buried, yet I feel as if it has been winter forever and spring and summer never were.

The snowflakes are falling and autumn is frozen and old. It's another morose late-autumn morning. A not-so-subtle downhill run into the hungry, spiritless, mouth of winter

It's hard to grasp the notion that winter has not yet sent its icy tendrils to torture my soul and darken my dreadful mood even more. Looking back, it seems as though autumn, with its magnificently brilliant colors of death never arrived - and winter has colored my world forever.

Yet, winter has not arrived. Indeed, winter patiently awaits autumn's demise with a horrid boreal grin. It crouches just beyond the white horizon waiting in anticipation; its mouth agape and its icy paws ready to pounce on any who dare venture forth.

Winter's howling winds and brutal cold will soon turn the already white and bitter landscape into a gray-white, numbing mess.  Rivers and lakes, which have thus far resisted the cold so valiantly, will succumb to winter's ungodly juggernaut and will freeze from shore to shore, creating cracking bridges of pellucid blue and green ice. Who could stand strong enough against the howling wind long enough to cross them?

As the years pass, I find myself hating winter more and more. The pristine white landscape after a freshly fallen snow, used to paint a lovely picture of memory and nostalgia - now it is only a portent of frozen fingers, icy toes, and long, dark months of suffered yearning. Eventually, spring will break the bonds of winter and miraculously life will spout anew from the frozen soil. The first signs of life and light after living long in the dark deathscape of winter will bring hope to my cold, weary soul.

I wish I could find that child inside, the one who used to rush out to catch the snowflakes on his tongue. The boy who once spent entire days outside in sub-zero temperatures building snow forts with friends,  all the while oblivious to the cold and biting winds. Or, the young idealist who grabbed his camera and his notebook and traveled about the countryside to  capture winter's beauty in photographs of frozen streams and trees hung with snow, and write sweet, little poems about the beauty of winter and the perseverance and eternalness of love.

You can't go back, you can only go forward. Time flows in one direction regardless of how many memory-bridges we build to carry us back to another day in another time. I cannot fight the fierce winds of winter nor stop winters' iron grip from consuming all remnants of life in its path with wistful, ephemeral memories. Winter's too cruel to allow beautiful things on gossamer wings to live in its cold kingdom.

Hope is sacrosanct and memories, as impractical as they are, will have to suffice. They are the only arsenal I possess to fight the unstoppable monster of winter. I will stab at it with my warmest memories, and build thick, high walls of hope - and wish for an early spring.

When the first purple crocus of spring shows her head, I will know that although I have lost every battle, I have not lost the war.

Spring cannot come soon enough for me.


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