The sky was bright and clear, baby blue. Outside felt still, but you could see the clouds move. Dusky gray and white wisps and mounds moved quickly across the sky. And even though I saw the sun sunk low behind the skeletons of trees and the house across the way, it was lighting up the tops of the clouds as if the sun sat within each one.
I felt lighter today, as if the storm clouds that hovered low overnight Saturday into Sunday held the darkness close to me. It’s clear now, more open—and cold. The stars will be crystalline tonight over the glittering snow. The moon will encourage me to take a late snowshoe or ski, when I bring the dog out to pee, but I’ll go back in by the fire to keep watch over the girls who sleep above. (Or so I hope.)
An hour later, at five, I roused the dog from the couch where he’s slept all afternoon after a long morning romp through the snow. While I waited for him to do his business, I could see that the sun I had glimpsed at four had sunk away completely, but still there was the tiniest glow in to the west. We turned the corner and I could see the hint of a ghost of the full moon behind the tall pines across the street. As I waited, more clouds hurried across the sky, these glowing too, lit from below by the yellow moon. Even in the dusky purple gathering darkness, there was light all round me.
I’m tired, worn out from the tension of joy and sorrow of this month, worn out from the anxiety and relief about my dad, worn out from the bustle of getting ready for Christmas and birthdays even though I tried to let what I did be enough, worn out from this cold that has kept me up too many nights reading and sipping hot tea. I’m tired, but this open sky, this glow within the clouds, this cold, is stirring something in me, some energy I didn’t know was there, some energy that feels something like hope.