In the grey glow of winter…

It is one of those grey days, with snow flurrying down, that ought to be beautiful, ought to be peaceful, but feels to me now simply grey, in that heavy, worn, scratchy, never-get-you-warm grey blanket way. All the colorful, uplifting things around me – bright books, cheerful emails, funky art, purple everything – all seem to fade back into the gloom, and my eyes go to the moody light of the window, snow streaking diagonally across the view of the not-quite-dying maple tree, the yellow plows, the worried-looking minivans scuttling along the slick slush-striped road. I can just see the little branch library beyond the crossroads, and I wonder if the staff there (who know regulars by first name and reading pattern) are looking at the weather and the big round clock over the oak check-out desk and wondering whether to close early. Or if they have broken out the hot chocolate, and the darkly-layered books whose snow-touched Celtic spirits are now calling to me (Alan Garner, Susan Cooper, et al), sunk into the armchairs nearest the heaters, and prepared to welcome any inveterate visitors with a story-touched smile and a gently raised mug. That would be my way – sometimes the gloom that comes upon us, that slows our creative actions to sludge is not meant to be escaped from or fought. Sometimes it is best to embrace it, like a comforting, tattered old bear soothing us into a much needed winter’s nap. There is much to be said for the refreshment of real rest by the glowing embers, safely away from the Energizer Bunny obligations that seem to stalk the season and pull our energies in more directions than we even have time to acknowledge. There is much to be said of rest – and as tempted as I am to say it, and to provide a menu of snack options that are best suited to such rest, it seems best not to say it, but simply to do it. As the Quaker saying suggests, “proceed as the way opens”, or in this case, let yourself not proceed. Just be, and then assuredly, when the time comes soon enough to proceed again, much will proceed better, thanks to the simple rest.

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