Monday, January 16, 2012

The warmth of solstice

A handful of days ago, I set out for home early from office.  I walk office on foot, everyday. Honestly. I don’t own car, I don’t hire taxi. Winter is already here: the day turns into hateful cold, the wind adds frosty to it and the sun going down early. But I walk. And only a few Thimphuiets do walk on foot like me in this most barren time of the year.

Midway to home, my eyes feasted upon a tree, just a few yards down the road. The tree sat abandoned, eerily. I inched my way towards it. And I looked so uninterruptedly, so absorbedly. Only a flock of birds were wheeling around it. Once plentiful of leaves and colours, now it stood bare and dispirited. Its leaves and seeds have stripped down, decaying on the ground. Alas, this tree was exhausted by hardest of wintry weather.

I couldn’t help thinking about this metaphor in my life, too. I’ve loads of memories from when I was a high school boy. However, this past is mostly remorseful and something useless that only hampered me.  Like this tree shed its leaves, I also let go of my memories one by one.

But suddenly, I felt a great emptiness within me. A sense of nothingness seized me which turned out to be as scary as blackness. Worse, my mind filled with doubt and anxiety. I had trashed my past, but I didn’t know how to live without it. I didn’t know how to stand firm in my own emptiness. And I became as lonely as this tree.

Again I looked closer at this tree. Contemplated more seriously. An understanding dawned upon me, ah. Though the hardest of season had beaten it, the tree was stunningly alive and still fighting with unparalleled ferocity will to live. It let go off its leaves, yet it stood firm in its own cruel weather, emptiness. It best taught me: it shed all the leaves, standing bare all winter and it always trusts that spring will come.

This internal understanding filled me with a surprising sense of comfort. No matter how cold, how dark, how cruel, how empty it can get, winter always holds a promise-that spring is no far. It’s this hopeful light of my own belief that radiates these days in my desertedness. Here, now, I embrace the darkness, emptiness and earnestly waiting to be embraced again with comfort, warmth, laughter, love and fruition.


  1. This is absolutely lovely. I am constantly awed and moved by the winter trees, and your words here help me understand why. Thank you. xox

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