I’ve been dreaming of nicer weather for some time. My only bike, at the time, died in early December, so I was more housebound than I had planned on this winter. I was doing okay, except for days that were warmer or I was feeling sick, then my cabin fever would emerge. I would dream of going to the coffeehouse. I miss going to the coffeehouse so much.
It’s been nicer weather this past week and I’ve been enjoying it. A few days ago I sat outside with a dog. The sun was out and within a few minutes her fur was warmer and I hugged her and felt so happy. I’ve missed throwing the ball with her outside, but slowly we are retrieving some fresh air time together.
I rode about three miles on my bike one day recently, doing some errands, going to the library, and stopping for a snack. For the first time in a long time I rode my bike with my jacket unzipped and with no hat or gloves on. It was so sweet.
Spring is almost here. I always find myself at this point. Spring is almost here, but it isn’t here yet. Snow is expected in less than a week. I don’t want to hear about that. I don’t want to think about that. But snow will come nonetheless.
I’ve been thinking over many other springs and what they have meant to me. I love spring. It is my favorite season of the year. I love getting outside more, feeling the sun shining on my skin, warming me. I was thinking of times I played outside in the spring as a child and all the springtimes since.
I want to say I survived the winter. But the winter isn’t over with yet. I want to jump up and down and celebrate. But the time for that has not yet arrived. I want to honor my survival and what I have done with my life in the past six months. A little more patience and I can.
For the time being I will reflect on something that helped me get through many winters in my life and in my healing. I remember when I found the book The Tree That Survived the Winter by Mary Fahy. I got it from a used store and took it home.
It looks like it may be a children’s book, but it isn’t. It’s so much more. It’s a book on healing. A little tree wakes up one day to greet the arrival of spring. As she honors her survival of winter, she looks forward to all the joys of spring.
We loved this book. It touched us deep inside. I found it when I was working on being a ritual abuse survivor and having Dissociative Identity Disorder in therapy. I found a lot of resonance in the book. There was a lot that I could relate to. My childhood was winter, one year after another.
So we brought it to therapy and asked our therapist to read it to aloud during the session. She read it to us. We sat close to her and were overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude and love for her. The book ends with the tree celebrating and sharing it’s survival with the sun, the sky, and the evening star.
My therapist looked at me as she finished the last page. She said, I can tell this book moved and touched you. What about it do you relate to? I started crying, I told her somewhat difficultly through the tears, I survived the winter.
I survived the winter. We all have. Happy Spring.