It's always been the longest month for me. Here in the Snowstorm Region, it's about 96 days long. By February, we've had months of snow, and the novelty of winter weather has worn off. We usually have a thaw somewhere in the middle of the month, a few hopeful days of warm weather that makes it feel like spring is coming.
And then, overnight, the temperatures drop, snow falls, and suddenly I'm outside again scraping ice off the windshield, and shivering because I didn't put on a hat, and driving ten miles per hour on treacherous roads. Nights in February are long because they are filled with demons, each emotional scar re-opening on the anniversary of that first sharp pain.
As I'm getting older, I am trying to make peace with February. I used to dig open the scars, pulling off the scabs, scratching into the memories. Now I leave them be. They are part of me. Like the silver stretch marks on my belly, they are a sign of growth. On dark nights, I just touch them gently, or massage oil into them.
Last week, when I talked to my friend Wild Hair about meditation, he suggested that after I meditate, I shouldn't just get up and rush away, but sit for a while with all that has been stirred up in the silence. I'm trying to open myself into the stillness of winter, into the spaces of February, into the richness of all that has happened in my past.