Endurance of the Winter

by Elin Kramer, UWCM
15th of December, 2022

When The Darkness of the Winter Turns Our Windows Into Mirrors. 


With the approach of winter the world seems to get smaller. I feel more insignificant, and grief creeps up my spine like a familiar hug. Where the rush of summer numbed all reminders of friends lost, memories unfinished, and passions neglected, the quiet of the winter forces me to greet them again. If only you were actually here so I could shake your hand and wish you a well-meant goodbye. Instead only your ghost drifts around the streetlamps on the parking lot. I refuse to let the loss of summer’s joy turn it all to bitterness. Instead of balancing life’s inevitable heartbreak with pleasing sunlight, teeth breaking sweetness and euphoric summer nights, the season has called us to be vulnerable. To face our inner balance when no light outside the window can lift it up. 


What do we do when the dark turns our windows into mirrors? When consoling hands are out of reach? When there is nothing left to do but to sit, and stare at our reflection? 


Maybe we’ll want to scream. Throw laptops, past papers and all our accomplishments at the confrontation of pain, grief and imperfection. Cuss it out for being unfair, accuse it of immorality and injustice. “I have worked too hard to be this grey! What have I done to deserve this solitude?”. But hopefully our heart will grow tired of this anger and slowly push out its tears. Then in the silent company of our reflection we will weep. 

Long, ugly, red faced, teeth showing, saliva across chin dripping, sounds nature’s never heard of releasing; crying. We won’t notice the puddle of tears forming underneath us, but trust it will be there. As every pain, and every suppressed sorrow has its turn and claims its time to be felt, they’ll travel through our bone marrow to reach the fingertips and toes, where they sink into the soil. Oh how darkness isolates. Oh how the cold stings.


We may complain, and whine, and grow tired of the winter, but it would be offensive to the seasons to deny its function. Because as the dark turns windows into mirrors, eventually, slowly, unnoticeably to the ignorant, light seeps through. 

Just when winter has made us forget how summer feels, we’ll sit in soft spring sun and gleefully notice the young green leaves on neglected naked tree branches. Those streams of grief will have sunken deep down the floor, and compressed into seeds. They’ll be the size of the significance of previous sorrows, and have the capacity to grow into the consuming magnitude of acceptance. 

So what do we do when the dark turns our windows into mirrors? We either do as we always do, or we take the privilege to simply sit in acceptance and observe the view.