Reflection in the Snow

Although the powers-that-be have been merciful so far, winter is slowly inching towards us. You can see it advancing on dull grey mornings, devoid of sunshine, when you look at bare, leafless trees which now give you a new, unobstructed view of the entire street. You can see it in the identity crisis of undecided precipitation which doesn’t know if it’s rain or sleet or snow.

It’s lurking, we know, it may pounce upon us out of the blue, catch us unawares and make snowpeople of us all. It has not yet fallen the way we know it will. It’s the changing seasons. We know to expect them. Each one of them.

But there are some changes we cannot see. There are changes which we notice only when they are complete. If only we had seen them creeping up on us we may have been able to stop them in their tracks. We may have been able to change their course if we had known what it was all leading to, and what it really meant for us, for our future selves.

We see it when suddenly one day we chance upon a reminder of what life was once like before the change began, before everyone started to go their own way and then the stark contrast hits us and makes us realise how far we’ve come and we see that although we’ve found what we sought, if we still aren’t happy maybe we sought the wrong end. Maybe that which we thought was most important to us wasn’t really and maybe the things we assigned less value to were really what needed to be focused on.

But it’s done and it isn’t easy finding our way back to that fork in the road which we passed unknowingly, choosing this path over the other, failing to see what we were giving up, what lay at the end of the road we didn’t take. So now we turn around and stand shivering, fog surrounding us, worthless treasure glinting at our feet, and we look back into the haze, into the storms we’ve weathered and find only ourselves wondering when it all changed, wondering if we’ll be able to make it back, wondering if there are second chances of this nature.

After every winter, no matter how many blizzards raged and how many layers of snow hid the green grass, spring makes it through. Sometimes late, but it always does. Nature cannot be fought. Maybe we must go back to being our true selves instead of being the product of expectations. Ours and others’. Maybe we have to do our best to help that resurface, even if it’s buried under layers and layers of personas we’ve been taught to don, maybe by others, maybe by ourselves, in the name of propriety and God knows what else.

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