Winter is incontestable beauty. Darkness and soul-trembling cold: two wonderfully terrifying concepts that consume me. All of me. Every time.
I am overwhelmed with melancholic yearning, a longing for a place I have never been and in my heart that place is of deep, perpetual winter. When the fog drifts between the gnarled tree trunks and the leaves descend silently into its embrace, I envision myself as one of those leaves, falling from my place amongst thousands into a soft obscurity.
Everything is damp, and there is no opportunity for it to dry. Demeter, the Goddess of the harvest cries, making a point of her devastation. Her heartache takes form in the deep greens and earthy browns of the soaking landscape and the piercing rainfall that breaks through the earth’s barrier, coating the world.
I love to wander through the mist of dawn, while the sun is still in bed and the city is yet to wake. I can drift between the wet, oak columns and, like the enchanting mist, I become the wraith of the girl who made wintertime possible. Like her, Hades has trapped my soul—yet I feel I belong.
Like the God of the Underworld, winter is often misunderstood. The scent of decay in the air, the unrelieved death, and the seeming finality of the pair are inspiring. Refreshing and stimulating, they provide a break from the oppressive heat of summer. While Demeter is pleased in the warmth, the world I yearn for is non-existent. Hades fell in love with her daughter and seduced her to be his wife in the Underworld. While she resides there with him, Demeter throws the world into a cold, dark, wintery trance, and I have fallen in love with this season.
This world of winter is filled with the gloom of dark trees with twisted branches that are holding on to their final signs of foliage with great despair. Their roots, usually exposed, extend deep below the earth’s surface, nestling beneath their newly provided shelter.
I am seduced by winter’s complexities. The air is empty—tranquil, almost. With each breath my psyche is invigorated and with each step my body is lured by the mysterious, yet comforting, presence of Hades. The pattering of the rain blankets the decaying leaves and the shades of the dead that inhabit this world chase me, but I barely notice. I am at peace with their presence.
This is home for my soul.
Words by Adrienne Goode
Image by Amelia Cecchin