Somewhere Between December and February

My thanks to Patty at for providing the first link in my chain of thoughts…

The entrance hall is the first place our guests see when they step into our house. As they remove their jackets, drop them on the bench, and proceed to the living room, I often wonder how much of the space they take in; what impression, if any, our green walls, high ceiling and skylight make on our visitors. When I first saw what is now our family home, the brightness lured me in. The house was talking to me: “These are happy walls. Come and join me. I’ll be yours.” I could have set camp right there and then. It felt warm and secure.

Hallways come in various lengths and degrees of brightness. Old mansions’ foyers, though dark and drafty, are filled with paintings that tell their past and present stories. European monasteries are built around their cloister, a covered walk that lets in the light and fresh air and where nuns or monks could hear God’s wind sing through the open colonnade. Modern schools have long corridors where students are to sit when they get too chatty or distracted to remain in the classroom. But when the bell rings the whole place fills up with chatter and bursts out with activity: papers on the floor and forgotten backpacks. Transition to the next class or packing up and leaving for the day. Hallways are part of life whether tamed or rambunctious. 

January is a month of transition. The door has closed on December with its romantic snow and festive lights and has not quite opened on February with its chilly promise of spring drowning in chocolate hearts and multicolored tulips. Trapped between the joy of Christmas and the prospect of warmer days I’ve been falling into the familiar doldrums of my birthday month. I’ve turned the first weeks of the year into a dark and scary passage instead of converting them into a bright room where I can take off my shoes, look at the pictures on the console, and dream of what is to come. I’ve forgotten that it is a space that vibrates with memories, quiet hopes, and resounding trust.

What we take in from a transition is entirely up to us. We can choose to sit on the floor like scolded students or we can pause and listen to God’s voice floating in the air. We can grab our bags and run for cover or we can laugh our way to milder weather. January is the hallway of the year. Step inside. These are nurturing walls and they’re yours.

Copyright © Maryse G. Copans – January 2010



12 thoughts on “Somewhere Between December and February

  1. What a wonderful new metaphor for a well-known pest…the winter blues! And your timing couldn’t be better! You aren’t the only one.

    According to an EQUATION, yesterday was 2010’s most depressing day of the year! Here’s the link:

    So run down those halls, listen to God’s voice, enjoy! The worst is over 🙂 and the best is on its way ~

    Lovely piece!

  2. Hi Maryse! Lovely writing, lady! I’m all in favor of listening to God’s voice and laughing a lot. No winter blahs here. I do my spring cleaning NOW so I can go outside when spring comes. It’s all good! 🙂

  3. Beautiful, Maryse. And thanks so much for the mention. Ah, the doldrums. One transition expert has even named that as a stage of inner transition. I so like how you make the metaphor not just about January, but about life itself. Wonderful!

  4. Lovely post Maryse. In the cold dark days of January, I want to hibernate. Just curl up with a down blanket and tea, and not leave the house. It’s the time of the year I go deep inside and long to be still, like a seed in the soil waiting for spring to break through the soil. In that deep place, I am beyond the heaviness and impatience for the sun, spring, flowers and gardens to arrive. I enter a dream state and know that the time is near. Nothing is permanent. The hallways you describe remind me of the “journey” to the soul. Full of treasures. Full of memories. Leading to the light.

    Be still, and know God is within.


  5. Such a nice post! I agree, most of life is how you react to it and not what is happening to you. I am getting through January by planning a trip to some place warm and tropical.

  6. Maryse, I read your post yesterday and I must say it has stuck with me. Thank you for your inspiring words and wisdom. It means so much!
    My January has been an extremely busy hallway… It’s like sardines in there! Hope it will lead to a wide open space, filled with light and serenity!

  7. Kerie

    That was good for me to hear today. I’ve been very drab and moody lately. Deadlines and kids seem to tug on me at every curve. I’m tired, frustrated, and want to be left alone.

    My deadlines are an answer to prayer. My children are what I work for. It’s time I change my perspective.

    Love you Maryse! You’re always good for a wake up call.

  8. Excellent essay from beginning to end! Love it! True, it is our awareness and perception which defines the space and the hallways along our journey. Thanks for this well written reminder.

  9. THANKS! Dear one, for the vision! Here I sit, warm and toasty while the wind howls outside and rocks my little RV, and I’m reminded: “they also serve who only stand and wait”. While I lean toward spring, like a flower toward the sun, there’s no sense of impatience; just knowing that it isn’t far away is good enough for me. I’ll wait for it, it’ll wait for me, and the meeting will be just darn glorious!!

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