I’ve been wondering at myself lately, all the time I’ve been spending inside. The previous two winters I refused to let the cold get to me. I drew the line only at running on ice—although even when the pavement seemed fine there were times I would come around a corner and find myself on new ground entirely, slick and hard and threatening. For two winters I was proud of my no backing down, whether it was cold or snow or rain or my breathing that stood in the way.
This winter I’ve had to be more gentle with myself. Less running, more sleep, more time inside. I realized I really could survive running on a track. I realized being gentle with myself was not the same as giving up or backing down. I also realized I had no choice but to let my body recover. And after months of not-quite-enough-air I am finally starting to feel not only clear lungs but something like strength. This gives me a whole lot of hope for future strength of all kinds.
Even so, it seems like I take a lot of pictures through windows. Why are you hiding inside? That voice in my head knows exactly what to say. Except I know I’m not hiding, just practicing no backing down in a different form. Besides, these windows are what allow me to take shelter and look Out. They let in the light, they let in the view, they let in a fresh sunrise and sunset every day without fail. They let in a fair amount of fresh air, being as old as they are, just stand close to one and feel that gentlest of breezes. And then—frost. And light through frost, and light through rippled old glass. And the play of light and reflection and rippled glass and the view out into the world. All of it from a place of warmth and shelter.
This morning, Middle called me to the window for a spectacular sunrise, and cheered me on while I dashed around the house looking for my camera. And it was a proud moment, knowing that she saw, and we shared. And then we saw more—how Inside and Outside came together on the window and made something new.
And it was magic.