Winter’s Child

Winter’s Child

From time to time, personal journals took the old woman on sojourns into her past. Yellowed pages led her, like worn self-help books, through youthful philosophies, goals she had set and promises she had made to herself. Unfortunately quite forgetful of late, at seventy-something she sought insight from that much younger version of herself, a young thing who knew little of life. She pondered the timely reminders of the girl she once was in that long-ago summer.

On Christmas Eve, her grey eyes looked out over the river and recognized a truth in every ripple; that, there was still a swirling sense of fun to enjoy. Her inner child dared to instruct her from the tattered old journals.

“Open your eyes; look around with your soul at all the blessings when you are old; you will be astounded,” the pages told.

Ice solidified the ripples yet the currents still flowed beneath; a pebble would surely skip again in spring. Believing in the girlish prophesies discovered in her journals, within the frozen mass which the clime herself had become, an obscure life-motion removed the cataracts from her soul. This helped her see life in a positive way driving her to embrace, with anticipation, each new season. She clung catalytically to hope and resolved, metaphorically, to crawl over the creaking ice and rescue the isolated child within who was drowning, and meet the festive season with new purpose.

Poetically and with inner sight, her mind grasped the scarcely visible apparition. Girl of my youth, child of my winter, I claim you. She shushed her voice to an inaudible whisper. With her resolution confirmed, the cold lonely woman pulled her inner child free from the frozen coma. Then, with Gemini togetherness, the mind of the child and the mind of the septuagenarian explored life’s stages just as in youth they’d been pondered and scribed. In her own words, and underlined on a page, were the promises that bitterness of past seasons would, in the winter of one’s life, lose their sting and fade; sweeter, more satisfying memories would survive.

Both the distant and ever-present blessings reminded her to be grateful. She’d come through devastating storms, and perhaps there would be more of them, but she had survived crisis and tragedy and her own enduring strength thawed the frozen fears. Springs of sentiment melted the regrets and eventually brought fair weather – a clear indication that it was time to nurture her obsession for purpose. A depth of empathy poured from her existence to satiate those who were needy of comfort and peace; for, she was wise of such things.

It was not in her imagination that she heard bell towers ring in the early dawn of Christmas morning. And later, she would recognize the subtle symphony of Auld Lang Syne playing in her head as she peered into the sunrise reflecting its pink palette over the snow… all the while the rescued youth danced to the echoes from her heart’s chamber and coaxed the unsteady woman in her oxford shoes to get up on her feet. In spite of a mild tremor, the woman’s arthritic fingers opened wide at the window which had fogged up from her quickened breath. Touching the glass, she gave permission to the spirit of winter’s child to scrawl, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” and draw a childlike happy face, complete with curls, on the steamy window pane.