❄ and ☃ and 4:00 in the morning

I should not be writing blog posts at four in the morning.

Can’t help it.

I woke from a half-peaceful sleep.  It’s cold this morning.  I can feel the winter chills on my skin.  I knew there were snowflakes in the evening air last night; I glanced through the Venetian blinds from my living room window.  The road has a dusting of snow.  My car is nicely frosted, a glazed Chevrolet.

Winter is on its way.

I remember this chill last year.  The first winter snows.  The white blanket that coats the grass and the grounds and the pathways.  I remember those moments.

Because, more than any other season, the snowflakes symbolize a chance for my life’s renewal.

Part of me wants to go outside and build a snowman.  A big jolly snowman with rocks for eyes and for a mouth and for tummy-buttons.  A big jolly snowman with a carrot for a nose and an old baseball cap for a chapeau.  Yeah.  Build a snowman at four in the morning.

And part of me wants to find every blanket and afghan and coverlet in the apartment, wrap myself up like a cocoon and not come out until springtime – or at least until I sprout butterfly wings.   Yeah.  I can feel insulated from the weather, but then it’s not just insulation – it’s isolation.  And I’m not going to put myself through isolation any more.

I think about future projects for the winter.  There’s a couple of Dream Windows in mid-construction.  Was it two years ago when, on a chilly snowy winter day, I walked into Silver Fox Salvage in downtown Albany and started looking for something, anything, to get me out of a nasty, miserable personal depression – only to see a battered old Queen Anne window and suddenly become inspired to make that window into something new?  And I realize… no matter how dark my life has been, even on the days when I don’t want to get out of bed, when I don’t want to think about the hurt that has cascaded over me… I can still create something special out of what was once trash and salvage.  Heck.  I’ve salvaged my own life through these Dream Windows.   And of course there’s more to come.

I think about my writing projects.  How I’ve taken whatever fragments of creativity that have twinkled, like tiny snowflakes, in the smallest reaches of my subconscious.  How, thirty years ago, those twinkles eventually evolved into my college writing thesis, the first edition of The Robins of Iverhill: A Minor League Fairytale.  And then, when I first signed on with the Times Union as one of their independent bloggers, how I took that old story, and re-wrote it and updated it and serialized it in the blog.  And from there, I came back with not only the Iverhill story, but also the holiday-themed Christmas in Iverhill stories.  Iverhill, and then the Collarworld stories after that… it’s almost as if those snowflakes linked together into one powerful thought, and wouldn’t melt until I could convert that thought into something tangible.

The first snowflakes remind me of the resolution I made last year.  The 49th Resolution, a promise to not let those who caused pain in my heart to put chains on my future.  Too many times I’ve suffered from various forms of abuse – physical, emotional, verbal, every other -al – to the point where it stifled my adult movements.  Where it hurt me and froze me and wouldn’t let me progress forward.

And then, little by little, I stepped away from the pain.  It wasn’t easy.  There were times when it left me vulnerable and emotionally devastated.  Almost as if my life was an accident, one that shouldn’t have occurred.  But with every step I took – every time I shut the door on those who have caused me grief, every time I walked away from the hurt and the taunts and the passive-aggressive jabs… I started to feel better.  Not perfectly better… but at least, if nothing else, more human.

Maybe that’s why I want to build a snowman right now.  A snowman is a celebration of winter.  They’re jolly and happy and created with excitement, an appreciation of the winter season, an icy representation of our dreams and desires for a joyous holiday season.  Unfortunately, there isn’t enough snow on the ground right now to build a sno-cone, let alone a snowman.  But that’s okay.  I can still think about it.

There were times in my life when I wondered to myself, “Why am I even here?”  What is my purpose in this world?

And then I see the snowflakes.  And now, as I begin my 50th winter upon this planet, I realize that it’s not “Why am I here…”

It’s “I am here.”

Every step forward is part of this wondrous journey you and I call life.  The precious gift bestowed upon us, the gift we dare not waste.

And then it all makes sense.  It’s not about writing and blogging and Dream Windows and trivia and K-Chuck Radios…

It’s about life.

It’s about rebirth.

It’s about faith and belief and taking what you have and making this world a better place.

And every day that you wake up and take another breath…

Is the opportunity for a better day.  A new day.  A new challenge.  A new achievement.

Let the snow blanket the grass the way it can blanket your past.  Let the snowflakes heal you and restore your energies.

And even at 4 in the morning on the first snowfall in the Capital District…

It’s nice to know that there is a tomorrow.

A tomorrow that’s going to be exciting and wonderful.

See you in the morning.