by Camry Ivory

After living in the Midwest for 22(!) years, I have finally begun to appreciate our bitter winters and cold weather streaks. I was walking across campus a few evenings ago. I had no coat and the wind was harshly beating across my face. was I cold? Oh heck yes, I was. but for some reason, it made me feel so alive. The coldness reminded me of….not necessarily my mortality, but of my fragility and my strength, all at once. If I have physical sensations, even if they are painful, I am alive, and as long as I am alive, all is well. This thought gives me strength.

I am not an ‘outdoorsy’ person by any means, but I do have a fond appreciation for nature, an appreciation I’m reminded of all throughout the year, regardless of the season. Each one has its own special personality, in the fiery autumn foliage, the sun-kissed summer days, the tiny buds of spring, the hope of a lovely winter frost, each holds an intricate mystery just waiting to be discovered.

The tiniest of things bring me such great joy. A falling leaf, a skittering squirrel, a warm smile from a kind stranger, a sunny day, a good piece of chocolate, a little ditty on the piano…

My life is not perfect; it is safe to say that there are things that are definitely NOT okay. But I am okay. And, what’s more…

I am content.