Before Dawn

Frozen Metro Lights

The Winter Solstice once again finds me looking back on the past months during the wee hours of the night.

It just so happens that this late December, the world around me has been encased in a certain amount of snow and ice. Enough to disrupt pretty much everything in the region. I’ve actually never seen it quite this bad down here.

And I’ve never had it quite so accurately reflect my own past year.

The snow makes things in the urban arena bright. Sources of light are plentiful, but the darkness often swallows them up. The snow catches and reflects the bulk of that once lost light, illuminating even the darkest night with a somewhat eerie glow.

It makes everything seem navigable.

But it’s not.

That same snow that reflects so much light and lets you see where you’re going also works against you. It pulls your legs out from under you as you step on a spot of ice. It slows you down and chills your bones as you trudge through it.

Give it half a chance and it will kill you.

Over this past year, I’ve had a few things I’ve relied on–systems that have worked quite well–turn on me and work against me. But as a side effect, they’ve also provided quite a bit of illumination, cutting through some blind spots and making seen some long hidden dark corners.

This past year, and the one before it, have been a time of complacency and stagnation for me. I’ve been frozen in place, able to see clearly, but unable to move in any given direction without losing my footing.

Now, as I pass through the darkest part of the Solstice–awake and aware of where I have been–I know full well that the coming sun will bring with it a true light and useful warmth. That light and warmth will eventually grow and, in time, will thaw the entrapping ice and snow.

Over the next handful of months, there will be many changes. Plans that have been simmering in an igloo-like incubator (safe from the frostbite, but still held in reserve) will spring forth and make their own way in the world. New ideas will push their way out of the tundra and take root with the strength to serve as handholds, steadying all who pass by on the treacherous ice.

Most importantly, though, I choose to do this. Even before the thaw, I’ll be picking my way along a path I’ve looked at for a long time.

The going will be slow at first, but there will be movement.

The sun will rise. The ice will glitter, then melt. And the path will once again be clear.


  1. Crystal says:

    Love the metaphor, and poetic imagery in general…this is a beautiful piece!

  2. Thanks. Glad you liked it. 🙂

Speak Your Mind