Updated: Feb 20, 2020
If I offend anyone I am sorry but February is my least favorite month of the year. It always has been regardless of where I lived. Even though the month is short it seems that most of the days are overcast and cold. It is winter.
Of course winter is not only a season; we go through the winters of our lives after devastating events: loss of a loved one, ending of a marriage, loss of a job etc. And suddenly, even if it is July and sunny outside, we find our world cold and grey. It is hard to find joy in those days.
The benefit of winter of course is that it is a good time to hunker down, stay inside and read or rest or reflect. It is a good time to practice self-care. Go to bed early, watch your favorite movies and eat comfort foods.
On these cold and dreary winter days I find that if I make myself get out and spend time in nature that I feel better. Even though it might be yuck outside, if I bundle up appropriately I usually have a great hike, find some unexpected company, but mostly have the trails to myself and feel lighter and happier when I return home. Today was no exception. I took out for the trails that I thought would be empty talking to myself and to Tristan and Drew as it they were right there with me. But suddenly I looked over and there they were, the deer that always appear when I am out there. We have a large family of deer living behind our house out on Tristan's Trail, the bike trail named after our son. Many times when I am out walking I'll look up to find one of them staring at me as if waiting expectedly for me. And sometime the family will appear. Today was one of those days. Their visits always make me smile. I like to imagine that they are there, waiting for me, to give me a sign. I guess after Tristan died I added the appearance of deer as a sign of his continued presence in my life. And so when I suddenly see one just staring at me it feels like they are there to let me know that even though he is gone from this world that Tristan is still very much present in my life. It is comforting.
And then the bikers flew by; It is, after all, a bike trail. And I'm always happy to see the bikers who seem to love riding this particular trail even though we have miles and miles of awesome bike trails in our region. It makes my heart smile. Tristan would be stoked and think it is so cool to have a trail named after him! And it is....except that he is not here to enjoy it. But it brings me peace. So I walk, even in winter. Even when my soul feels like winter. I hike the trail, talk to my children that live in heaven, and look for the deer that always seem to appear. And then winter fades away and it is spring again, or summer, in my soul.