I forget it every winter. I forget how the cold and dark and cloudy makes the world seem cruel and pointless. Sunshine is such a little thing and such an everything.
Last week my students read the story of Demeter and Persephone, that beautiful explanation of the seasons when the world goes dark and death stalks the land as a mother grieves for her daughter lost to the Underworld. It makes sense to me.
Winter too often brings death. Of flowers. Grass. Leaves from the trees. Loved ones. Celebrity ones. Strangers and other people’s loved ones.
When the sun is not shining and the cold and dark prevail, it is so easy to forget that life goes on, that death is part of life.
And I cried typing that life goes on. Every day still seems like a little betrayal. Every day gets me further away from the last day. yesterday I emptied into a bowl on my coffee table the last of my dad’s favorite mints that I had bought him for Christmas. It was a warehouse-sized bag and soon it will be gone. I’ll buy a new bag, but it will those mints my dad used to like rather than those mints I was going to give him because he was around just a few days ago, so few days ago that I still have consumable gifts that I meant to give him.
Sunshine switches the focus, however. Sunshine pushes me to look not at the last time, but at the best time and to look forward to more best times with the people he loved, that we love.
Grief goes on. Life goes on. The sun returns and I remember.