Winter Always Quiets Me

Winter always quiets me.

At first, it's a quiet born of distraction. December's hustle consumes. I am mesmerized by the sparkle, absorbed by the traditions, seduced once again by Immanuel made new. It's a roller coaster that allows no time for reflection until the ride comes to a end, gently slowing, returning to where it all began.

And then it's January, and I'm flat worn out. I'm satiated, almost gluttonous with the richness of the past few weeks. I'm ready to fast, to cut back and reign in. The snow falls fresh, and the hustle is but a distant rattle of a train long passed. The silence of winter is palpable, you can sink into it if you sit long enough. Even the busy thoughts - I should fold the laundry, what happened to that homework paper, maybe I should write something - get swallowed up by the stillness. Instead of doing, my soul listens.

That is a good quiet.

But there's another side to winter's noiselessness. It's the chill of apathy, the freezing fingers of fear. It's when the polar vortex of lies slips in through the cracks and works its way into your bones without you really noticing. All of a sudden, I find myself chained to the couch, huddled under a familiar old blanket, drowsy and dull. Goals and dreams have no power here. I am rooted in fear, not rooted in love, and I am stiff with cold.

That is a bad quiet.

Wisdom is recognizing which quiet has captured me.

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