One foot in front of the other, I tell myself, as I trudge to where I need to be.
Trudge trudge, trudge trudge. Things are going slower than normal on this very routine walk, in a straight line directly from the north to south of the city. I brought headphones to listen to a podcast, but I decide not to listen to anything. Listening to two people chatting obliviously would be far more painful than the silence of this moment.
My mind is a blank. A freshly-painted white wall. No thoughts contained within. I feel odd for not having any. Shouldn’t I have some? I look at the recently fallen snow on the ground and notice how beautiful it is, making this walk a lot nicer than it would’ve otherwise been.
Trudge trudge, trudge trudge.
Today I feel anonymous in this town. I know now, there are worse feelings. It isn’t so bad at all. My expression finally matches those around me of the people I don’t know, but nobody would see it anyways, covered by a face mask. I haven’t bumped into anyone I know on the street now for months. I recall a time in the not too distant past when I would frequently see friendly faces during this trek, the sun would be shining.
Today, just white sky, snow, gloom. But the gloom is not unwelcome. Secretly thankful that I can move through the town unnoticed today.
Trudge trudge, trudge trudge. I feel like a phony, still trying to go about my daily business like nothing is happening. I know now what people might be feeling when they say “life is hard”. It never really had been for me (yet), but I have to acknowledge that I feel like I’ve lived a year just in this month alone.
The air, from what I can glean under my mask, smells fresh and salty, perhaps from the salts on the sidewalks from the recent big dumping of snow. I think about the song “In The Bleak Mid-Winter”, especially as beautifully sung by Sarah McLachlan. I think this is a Christmas song which even refers to Mary and Jesus, but the title seems to describe today perfectly. I suppose, right now is my “wintering”.
One foot in front of the other. I’ll get where I need to be eventually and it may take me longer than usual, but I will always keep moving… but learn to take a pause when I need to. I guess that pausing and resting are often harder things to do.
Goodbye, January. You came in softly, happily and didn’t turn out anything like I thought you would. It may be one of those cliche sayings, but it always makes me feel better in times like these. This too shall pass.
This post is my attempt at honesty in a dark time. My heart goes out to all of you that have experienced loss this season. You are seen and supported.