January 03 – The Great Prairie

01-03 Winter Tree

The days are getting longer, but they’re still dark. These past several years, it’s been right around this time that it really starts to settle into my bones. It happens all of the sudden, and even though the holidays have come and gone, you realize that the coldest days are still ahead.

I’ve been feeling isolated. And that would be a pretty huge understatement, if I’m to tell the truth. Loneliness can be a crushing beast. In most situations, I enjoy solitude. Time to think, to read, listen to music, write, and create. But then, solitude and loneliness are different animals, aren’t they? I like to think that I do a decent job starving my sadness, filling the minutes of my day with activity. I’m sure I’ve driven my nearest and dearest a little mad at times with my unusual requirements; I need space, and I need solitude. But this winter season finds me feeling a little differently about my solitude. I find myself more anxious, and fantasizing about warm weather, about returning to Arizona where I know I belong.

I suppose this image accurately reflects how I’m feeling, at least from my point of view. A lonely tree in the blue winter light. It looks like it’s out in the country, but this photograph was made about five miles away from my parents’ house. This little patch of land is surrounded on all sides by subdivisions and strip malls. In that way, I suppose the image reflects how I’m feeling on a whole other level, now, doesn’t it?

Nevertheless, the point of these words isn’t pity. There is beauty in everything we experience. When we’re tested, we have an opportunity to learn a great deal about ourselves. Sometimes we learn a great deal about others, too. Good things grow out of struggle, and even on a lonely winter day, I can sip my coffee, go for a walk, and find a little patch of nature in the concrete that speaks to me. And that ain’t half bad.


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