All is night, and all is right with my world. In this winter darkness, I know exactly where I am.

For a long while, I was buried under snow of a different kind, under a winter of loss and uncertainty. In this cold season, the northland is like a desert wasteland. Those times come to a person’s inner world too.

Now is another greening. Not a spring — my springs are all past, and now my summers stretch out before me. Though it lacks the tizzy of new awakenings, this is no sensible time of life. It’s one where romance prevails and rainstorms come and go. A time of warmth, vitality, and changeable winds. A time to sail away from known shores.

Now is a time to embrace the friends who can bring such a thaw to pass. Love is a very great power indeed.

Outside the south-facing window, the starshine hides behind a blanket of thick cloud; snow buntings rise and twirl as night travellers along the roads disrupt their rest. They catch the headlights of passing cars and rise like sparks into the freezing air. They fly into emptiness and are gone beyond sight.

Like thoughts, like dreams, they fly away. Like the places I’ve wandered in my heart and mind, and like this place where I write to you tonight.

It all whirls past, faster and faster with every turn. Life spins out of our hands and meets its end, a thread run off the bobbin. Set a match to it, and it’s just a spark, no fire. And then it’s gone. Before I know it, my place in the world will burn out.

But love is a very great power indeed. It sees sparrows and snow buntings fall, though the darkness is lit by not one star. Love knows when a dream dies, and it weeps when time turns to char and ash. Love feels the weight of the burdens we carry, small or large, forced upon our shoulders or self-inflicted by our choices.

It’s possible to die of broken wings.

Yet there are hands that heal. Hands that have been broken themselves. That’s how they know the wounding. That’s how, in this winter darkness, I am not lost. Because hands of like nature were stretched out to me in the acceptable time.

I am hidden in the comfort of my room, and the south-facing window is a blank, the colour of slate. The antique lamp in the corner glows golden. After I turn it off, I will feel my way to bed and lay me down by sheer force of familiarity.

And in the peace and warmth, where love prevails, I will think of how the blind can lead the blind — by reaching out to touch.

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