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 Iโ€™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 moreโ€ฆ

I am content.