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Pushing the Boulder Up the Mountain


I've had a recurring dream of late. I am sloughing through deep snow in a dark forest. My feet are garbed in heavy boots. I am wearing a heavy, lined cloak. The snow is still falling. My face feels numb. I have my hands buried deep in the pockets of the cloak, futilely trying to keep them from freezing.


Just on the edge of my vision I can see a lynx keeping pace with me. I sense that they aren't stalking me, merely keeping track of my progress.


Every step takes effort as the snow is mid calf deep. I don't know if I have ever felt this cold before. I feel frozen through and through. I don't think I can remember what it feels like to be warm. I keep pushing on, wondering if there is truly a reality outside of this dark forest and this deep snow but something keeps me going.


Something tells me that if I just keep going, light will reappear. I will start to see a flicker of it through the thick trees. If I just keep moving forward, lumbering through the deep snow, I know that I will emerge, at long last into an open field. The sun will be rising slowly in the distance. Black feathers will be falling like snow around me, filling the empty field with their delicate down.


If I can just keep going, if I get through the difficulties of this present time, I believe that the future will be better. That sometime, someday, I will be able to move that boulder to the top of the mountain.


The dream serves as a reminder that the days are getting shorter. The nights grow longer. We are quickly approaching the time of the longest night; when the distant sun seems like a hopeless dream. Will the warmth ever truly return?


As I flounder on through the snow, I have my doubts. Only golden flashes of the lynx let me know that I am not alone in this endless Winterland. There has to be an end at some point. I have to find my way to that field of feathers. I want to feel the downy softness on my skin. I want to sit in front of a large, roaring fire and feel the warmth return to my body.


I desperately long for the promise of spring. Every year we experience this cycle: of coldness, of darkness. I begin to forget the blistering heat of the summer, longing futilely to go outside without layers of clothes, gloves and boots. Intellectually, I know this is temporary. I know spring and summer will come again, but when I am bundled up and shivering, part of me doesn't believe.


This has been an unusually harsh year, full of darkness and sickness and unhappiness. I hope fiercely that this shall pass like the longest night, that we will emerge on the other side, strong, healthy and warm, but in my worst moments, I can't believe.


Be my lynx and stay with me. Guide me through this darkness. Take me to the place where I can feel safe and warm. Guide me back into the light.

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