Mother Nature's Sleep The snowflakes, the silence echoes across the dark winter's night. Nothing but a coat to keep out the frozen breeze that whips and throws snow like confetti into the air without a cause to celebrate except for the breath still in my chest, the only warmth I have left living in the harshness of Mother Nature's sleep. Justin Farley
SAD – A Poem About Winter and Seasonal Affective Disorder
The wind whips against the shutters.
Brutal blasts of cold swirl in the breeze.
Hope seems tattered and scattered,
lying buried beyond the brink of spring.
As I gaze out from within my frozen fortress,
I square off, locked in a duel with death.
Fighting against the feelings of emptiness
lodged deep within my breast.
Void of a guiding and burning passion –
A fire whose flames lick and warm my heart.
Void of all willpower to take action –
left to remain shivering in the dark.
The lingering darkness leaves me blind –
unable to see beauty from my eyes.
The mundane landscape manages only to supply
drab and dreary images of black and white.
A long and trying winter,
starving and salivating for a feast on light.
Restlessly and ravenously awaiting spring’s dinner,
to sink our teeth back into life.
The Cardinal – A Poem
Scarlet red against the snowy white,
I see you at the feeder
munching on sunflower seed.
You do not know me.
But I know you.
I’ve watched you from the window-sill,
perched upon the feeder,
cracking seeds open with your beak
in the early morning winter,
ruffling your feathers to keep yourself warm,
hopping along the frozen ground
to pickup any leftovers that may have fallen,
but quick to fly back into the bare bushes
that shield you from the harsh, hollow wind.
You may not know it,
but I have been watching over you.
Making sure to keep your feeder full,
making sure you can find food
without a thorough search
and able to store up enough energy
to keep you warm and alive until spring.
But unknowingly, you have fed me as well.
I look through the glass, longing to see you.
Wishing I could reach out and touch you
and whisper a simple “thank you” and you’d understand.
You are my beauty
against the backdrop of nothing.
You are a fresh reminder of life
when winter leaves me stale and dying.
You give me a dose of laughter
as I watch you twitch your head back and forth,
appearing confused and never able to decipher
the landscape around you.
You remind me of the freedom of simplicity
when my mind becomes wound up like a complicated clock,
clanging with gears and compounded by time.
You are my company when the bitter cold
leaves me locked behind doors.
Dare I call you a friend?
You add color to a film reel
that replays over and over in black and white.
Yes, you and I need each other.
We go on together, unconsciously feeding each other life.
The temperatures are already putting me in a bad mood, and even though we’ve only had one snowfall, I’d say I’ve had about enough for the year. It is way too early to be already having blistering temperatures in the middle of November in Indiana. I do have a tendency to suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) in the winter – my depression/anxiety is always worse. The lack of light and inability to go outside much (unless you want to freeze) leaves me feeling restless and irritable. But this year I’m going to try my best to change my perspective and flow with nature, instead of against it.
As much as I dislike this time of year, it does remind us that even nature needs time to relax and rest. The forests are still and quiet, blanketed with beautiful snow, with all vegetation asleep until the coming spring. It is a great time for reflection – to be in solitude and think about our lives, our goals, and our destination. As human beings, we all tend to complain about how we never have the time to do anything and constantly feel like we never have time to take a break. But the time of year when nature tells us we can, we tend to ignore it and keep moving, wishing it were spring. You have permission to be still and quiet. If nature needs it, we do too. In our world, stillness is one of the hardest disciplines to practice. Is it any wonder people feel more stressed than ever before?
This year let’s not focus on how cold it is, how miserable the weather is, or count down the number of days until spring. Let’s be still and watch the example of nature – we might even learn a thing or two.