The evening was drawing to a close, but my eyes were wider and my breath faster than the earlier hours. The boys were down. The dark of night established. The fire dying. But I sat and gave in to the icy fingers reaching around my mind and through my heart, tracing patterns down my spine.
That man… so far from me.
I gave myself over to them: those fingers of ‘what if’ and ‘this might’ and ‘it could’.
I invited them to weave and wrap.
Tighter. Deeper. Layered.
I sat on that couch as the last sparks died and the cold settled. I finally followed my feet to my bed, hours and thoughts too late. My boys, in faith finding rest and warmth, awoke early; too near my sleepless night, too near the sand of my feet, too near my vision of cold and questions.
And the day sprouted and bore what I planted in the night, as is the pattern of earth and souls.
And the village of my home suffered in the hunger of my sick harvest.
And I cast blame for what I had cast myself.
And exchanged cleft for cliff, drink for drought, roots for rot.
Somehow, in the rhythm of sun and moon and faith and fright, the day has passed. Evening falls again. The boys are settling as I place cold-crisp pieces on the flames and consider the coming hours.
Every thought, every reaction and action and step-following-step, is a breath and a choice.
There is the inevitable, the unavoidable: pain of childbirth, bite of cold, frozen roads between us.
And there is the possible and avoidable: resentment of pain, exposure in cold, distance of earth invited as distance of hearts.
As the earth turns and my soul wrestles, I await strength. As the shadows prove the sunshine, I invite the cold to stir the heat. As corners and closets tempt tendrils, I invite them to Light and pulse and Presence.
These long nights…. The time of my confinement, a cage of sorrow or safety, a winter of bated breath.