Where I live, all the houses are sandy yellow. And in this winter mist and rain it’s as if the streets are made of sodden cardboard. As if this whole and delicate city could at any instant be folded up inside the pages of a book.
January is for the meek. It is a month the feeling of brittle yellowed paper. It is a month where any wrong-footed step will crumble the whole thing into dust. This book seems almost closed. January is not for bold attempts of self-improvement, it is not for cutting out, shaping up and self-flagellation.
January. You are pushed against your own will right out of the festive season. You are dumped back into office chairs dirt broke and alcohol bruised. You are exhausted and you’ve forgotten what your jobs roles are. You may have snogged the temp.
Not a fraction of the year has passed and the bad news is already mounting up. You regret your decision to stay up to date with current affairs. You regret your decision to exercise more. You watch those who do it flawlessly as the cold air rips down your throat on freezing evening runs. The inspiration you had promised yourself to find in others trips back into envy. You buy wine and drink it watching Yoga with Adrienne videos.
Don’t do it.
Your wintered body is not set to make its grand entrance into the world just yet. Keep quiet, tread carefully. Look after yourself. Wait for longer days and blue skies and unfurl yourself like a summer flower. It is only the snowdrops that see the potential in these cold fogged days. Your sensitive body holds none of their hardiness. Let their presence protect you as they stick one finger up in the face of mid-winter.
The blues, predictably, come calling. And when they do, don’t ignore them. Listen hard. But catch them quick, when they’re only at a whisper. Stare them straight in the face and make them a deal. I promise you wont regret it.
Because at this point in the year, when there is little of beauty or joy, you need all the help you can get. When you really listen in to these little murmurings of melancholia, you will realise that actually, they are trying to help. They are telling you, you’re fragile, you’re small, you’re cold. You are weakly susceptible. You are human.
Hold tight little one. Longer days are on the horizon.