Updated: Feb 12, 2020

Trout Brook, New York
Winter - Trout Brook, New York - Captured November 9, 2019

In my remote area of Northern New York the winters are bitter cold. The temperatures that reach -30ºF chill me to the bone, the wind so piercing that it steals the breath from my lungs. The days are short and the dark hours seem endless, leaving me uncertain if there are warmer, brighter days to come.

The last six years have been my own unyielding winter. I endured a myriad of emotions as my marriage crumbled to the ground, scrambling to pick up the pieces of my life after the devastation of divorce. I understand the shock and anguish that grips you when you discover a close family member has chosen to tragically end his own life. I have been overwhelmed with heartache as I watched my beloved father’s health deteriorate until the day my family and I surrounded his hospital bed and made the difficult decision to let him go. I have opened up to another, only to feel the heartache of rejection in return. I have struggled to put food on the table and support my son, while devoting endless hours to building a reputation and establishing a new business… chasing a dream.

In the midst of my most difficult days it was easy to let the darkness get the best of me… even though I knew there was beauty to be found in each moment, if I could only bring myself to look for it. For even in the bitter cold days of winter, there is nothing that compares to the beauty of a morning that sparkles with a freshly fallen snow. Or a breathtaking, cold, and calm winter night, when the sky is cloudless and star-filled, and I am mesmerized by the solitude as the sounds around me are muffled by a blanket of snow.

During the most difficult days these were the moments that I clung to, giving me the courage to move forward. The challenges I faced helped me discover newfound inner strength, making me the woman I am today… and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

The temperature has begun to rise, the invigorating air that flushes my cheeks carries with it a promise of spring. I close my eyes and lift my face to the sky, letting the sun’s rays fill me with hope. I ponder change and transition, the delicate balance that is life. It is a never-ending dance that we perform. We sway this way and move that way, with the hope that we will step our way through it with as much grace as we can. One wrong step can cause the ground beneath us to shift, and we must regain our footing once again. All of our experiences are not meant to be joyful. We must embrace the sad, exciting, devastating, infuriating, and terrifying moments along with each joyful moment - because each is necessary. Without the dark, we cannot appreciate the light. Without loss, we cannot feel gratitude for all we have. Even when encompassed by winter’s darkness I must take each day one moment at a time, appreciating the beauty in each one, especially on the days that are the most difficult… trusting that it is all part of a bigger plan.

Excerpt from CROSSROADS: My Search for Truth Through Music and a Lot of Red wine on Amazon

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