This is December in the midwest. A sparse beauty echoing the voice of someone I miss. Little houses hunkered down into the frozen earth while the gray sky settles down upon my shoulders, heightening my senses, numbing my emotions.
Along the highway, picture windows punctuate the gloom with butter-yellow light. A family portrait. A festive tree. The shell cracks at the surface and something in me swells. Then, just as quickly as it rises, it lays down again.
In the rolling, lifeless landscape, crooked fences, unhinged shed doors, all things neglected and left undone are exposed for strangers to see. The passage of my own wasted time is laid as bare as the black, leafless trees. The gloom settles in deeper. The shell thickens.
On a simple street is my own little house, filled with little ones I love. My own butter-yellow oasis. Here is where I am safest. Here is where I am warm. The melancholy follows me inside, fills up my quiet moments, resides with me, yes, even as I pulse with warmth and love and affection.
This is my time. This is my December.