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‘Tis the Season of Extremes

Render Free Essay XVII

There is a light, bright and jolly disposition that bursts in at the first snowfall. The melted snowflakes on almost every street reflect the twinkling garland that edge our homes. Trees are adorned and the cold air that surrounds us is electric with anticipation. Time is both wished away and scarce as we hurry to accomplish the many end-of-year errands on our to-do lists.

Yet beyond the merry cheer, albeit authentic or veneer, there is a stillness that awaits us in this season. We glimpse its shadows in the wanting faces of those grieving what has been lost. We witness its reach when the quiet of humanity allows for the silence of nature to break through, ringing in our ears, the normal buzz of wildlife deadened by the snow. We are wrapped, like a present, in its familiarity when the lights are dimmed and the early darkness of the sky is met with a rising sense of loneliness, devastation and despair.

Many are trapped in oscillation, pivoting from merry to fear. With this, an exhaustion is sure to set in and one enters the new year with an uncertainty of how to maintain these highs and lows. But perhaps there is another way.

Like joy and love, gratitude has been abused, misused and forged. When authentic, it is a practice that allows for the containment of grief and loss. True gratitude withstands the winter storm of consumerism. Gratitude outlives the devastation of disparity. Gratitude substantiates true delight and honors its companionship with disappointment.

If able to resist the binary of this season, if we are able to plant our feet on a foundation of gratitude, we might also find that in spite of the fleeting nature of holly and folly, despite the uncertainty of what is to come, hope will spring up in us. Hope for our healing in our community and in our lives. Hope for the fulfillment of our longings. Hope for what is unjust to be made right.

In this season, as you count down the days to a new year, as you count the tasks waiting to be fulfilled, count too your blessings. Let those numerous, albeit often small, reasons to be grateful mend the grief and cultivate in you a hope for healing.


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