Maybe it’s the steely cold weather, the continued darkness or the letdown after December holidays.
Whatever it is - January IS NOT a month for sissies.
Growing up in a small, Midwest river town during the 50s taught me early on the harsh realities and lonely confinements of this first month of the year.
Barely old enough to know my multiplication tables, I learned my January lessons well as we pulled our rusted wagon filled with newspapers up and down dark roads and icy hills.
While we walked empty streets lined with anonymous houses, I was thankful for the golden strands of light coming from neighborhood windows, porches and city street lamps.
During those lonely January days, light of any kind provided an almost cosmic comfort to weary, small travelers like my brother and me.
Much like a theater production of "Our Town," I thought it so odd I could watch and become acquainted with these people through their windows, but they knew nothing about me.
Aloneness can stir such profound thinking - even for small children.
While I've never been a fan of loneliness, delivering papers with my brother taught me that the "solitude" within moments of "aloneness" isn’t always a horrible thing. I also learned that visits to a January woods can provide priceless moments of introspection and renewal.
Cautionary Note: Bundle up and be prepared. January winters don't give a lot of second chances.
A January Jeffrey Woods Waits in Silence