Between one thing and another I've spent the last few weeks in a depression of the capital D variety, the kind they make drug commercials about. You know the ones: "Take our pills and you'll either feel happy again or die of a side effect. (We know you don't care which. Because hey. You're nuts.)" Those commercials.
I can usually shake myself out of these episodes before it gets so bad, but this one was a big black beast. Just getting out of bed, putting one foot in front of the other, and not crying in public took everything I had. And sometimes I couldn't even manage that much.
As always, though, it passed eventually. I think the sun coming back had a whole lot to do with it. My internal weather seems to mirror that of the day outside. I don't know if that's common or not.
At any rate, the endless, colorless, grey-grim winter was about to do me in, and a sunny day was just the medicine I needed. Revived and filled with the new light, I pulled on my hiking boots and squished my way down to the pond to see what might be stirring there.
At the edge of the water, I came eye to eye with a bright stand of red wild rose hips, freed of their icy coats. Birds sang here and there in the trees. It's a miracle that any of them survive an Indiana winter, but there they were nonetheless. From below the ice palm-sized tadpoles, almost frogs already, wriggled cautiously to the surface, touched the air, and darted back into the darkness.
I had seen the broken tree across the water many times, of course. But I really saw it for the first time that day. It was bowed down and broken in the prime of its life, but still it did not fail. In the way of all trees, it found a way back to the sun, back to life. And there it stands today, straight and tall.
So. Things change. Storms break us. But there's always a way back to the light.