Learning to Love the Skies I'm Under


As a general rule, winter tends to be a tough season for me for a variety of reasons. This particular period of time tends to lend itself as my reflective season. If I have a lot going on in my life, I tend to take every negative emotion and experience and put it in a box so that I can sort through it all after the chaos blows over. And since winter tends to keep us all holed up in the comfort of our own homes, it’s the ideal time for reflection and acceptance. So for now, I’ve been sorting out my own little box of negativity with the hope that once again, spring will bring about forward motion.

A couple of weeks ago in the aftermath of a severe anxious episode, I decided to take a couple of hours to wander around one of my favorite parks in Portland. It served as a very gentle reminder to my melancholic self to notice the tiny and beautiful things, no matter how chaotic my internal world gets. On this particular Monday afternoon, the sun bursted through the low hanging gray clouds, casting a soft light on all of the trees and the ferns and what was left of the autumn leaves. And everything was beautiful.

Winters in New York are nothing like winters in Portland. In my hometown, winter is characterized by a bareness. Everything is bones covered by a blanket of snow. And on the rare occasion that the snow disappears, the grass is dull and everything is gray. In Portland, it rains and rains and rains and the skies are almost always gloomy, but there is still so much green. Even when this city is covered with snow, flowers continue to bloom, moss continues to grow, and the world stays green. 

There's something about being surrounded by trees that makes anxiety and worry and sadness fade into the background. It still lurks away in the darker corners of the mind, but when you're too busy noticing the external world, the internal chaos becomes less and less important. And I find that I am much more at peace among the trees. As I wandered through the park, everything that was causing me pain became obsolete. I used this brief period of clarity to reassure myself that I was stronger than my worries and doubts and that somehow, everything was going to be okay. 

And you know what? From where I stand in this very moment, everything is okay.