I was determined to like January this year.
January is hard.
It is the philosophical start of winter.
November and December are cold months filled with holidays, plans, and lights.
But then you turn the corner of the new year,
and January stretches out in front of you like a cold expanse.
It is the start of inertia months.
Like a comet orbiting the earth, gliding smoothly through the dark spaces,
no new forces are acting on it.
Winter is the time of encasement, not creation.
We do not bring new forces to bear on our lives.
We simply hope to avoid getting sucked in by the earth gravitational pull,
and if we do,
we hope that the plans and the light we stored up in previously months will be enough
to keep us from crashing into the frozen earth.
I carried some plans into January,
bundled up tight and held closely to my chest.
I would cross-country ski,
I would sit and read by the fire,
our money would be enough now that we had moved out into the country.
We would hibernate until the spring.
But Jack Frost's fingers casually decided to pluck each of these from me.
January was a month of ice and below zero temperatures,
not a month of snow for skiing.
The roof on our Jeep started to peel away, we had debts pop up we didn't know about,
our money would not be enough.
So we would not sit and read by the fire, we would go to work.
There became a need to change our direction.
But when you are floating along in space,
the only thing that will change your direction is a force from within.
And that force was hibernating.
I kept trying to light the fuse,
but the lighter only flickered and flickered out.
So instead, we will ride out the winter,
and see where we land when we crash into the frozen earth.
And build from there.
And in the mean time,
I will watch the crows in the snow scattered field with straws of hay from the harvest poking through.
That scene of black, white, and beige.
The colors of winter.
And I will watch as the crows peck intently around the field,
as if they are reading braille,
telling the secrets of winter.
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.