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Gathering up the shadows in the waning light

My coffee is strong this morning. Iím sipping carefully from the beautiful pottery cup I bought in Bar Harbor, Maine, on our 25th anniversary road trip last year. Itís a swirl of color that brings me calm as I reminisce about the funky shop I bought it in.

It was an eclectic mix of hand-chosen items like pottery, created jewelry, candles and steampunk. The shop owner was a talkative guy who allowed us insight into his venture; he had a great story to go along with his business.

Iím not a big spender and much prefer to pick up small trinkets here and there on trips, and this cup was going to be one of those trinkets. I paid $22 dollars for it, for which I winced a little, but I knew every time I drank from it I would be transported to Maine, like I am right this minute as the super moon slowly fades and dawn is pinkening the sky.

I donít put stock in ďthingsĒ to make me happy, but a small token that makes you smile can be worth it on a day that seems glum. It is the time of year when the clocks turn back, and the ensuing weeks become darker and darker.

I do enjoy winter; give me all the snow and cold things, the ice that sparks purple and blue. This year though, Iím hanging onto the bright colors of fall a little longer because the shadows seem long.

Mostly what I want to do is curl up on the couch and read after my day is done. Really I want to do it during the day, blocking out the world and diving into the small spaces between sentences of whatever book Iím reading.

Iím part of a breakfast club, a small group of women who gather to hash out life, and one of my friends gave me a book to read that weíll discuss at the next meeting. She excitedly asked me a week later, ďHave you ready any of the book yet? What do you think?Ē I decided to be honest. I told her I was having a hard time getting into the flow of the story, but that I would press on because she said it was amazing, that I had to read it. She told me to keep reading, persevere, that it would be worth it. So I am.

Iím a bit of a book snob. No, I am a book snob. Iíll take that title and hold it like a torch over my head. I glean and gather books that have words that make me chew on them, decipher their meaning and stories that click in my mind weeks later.

This book is lighter and not so densely packed with chewable horror, which is what I prefer. As a book hound I decided that I needed to lay down my snobbiness and give it the chance it deserves. Iím halfway through, and Iím still reading; the jury will be out until I read the last word.

I recognize the shadows in the corners of my home, the ones that want to reach out and whisper on my neck. Some days I welcome them and settle in my pajamas for the day, but this season Iím seeing that I need to fight them for my own sake.

Itís easy for any of us to let malaise settle, to not comb our hair and let the darkness win. I say no to the things that seek to take us under; I will finish what I set out to do and be joyful when itís done. And some days I will let myself settle under the weight and sip coffee from a cup that signifies happiness. On those days I will reflect and pause and then keep pressing on.

Published: November 21, 2016
New Article ID: 2016711219977