Monday, December 26, 2011


December came with my birthday and Christmas, both I met with indifference. It was for something else that I really felt.

The weather has been acting erratically this year. We had a warm spell in mid-December, pleasant enough for me to walk around in shorts and sandals. Then my astonished eyes caught bits of bright yellow standing out in the drab winter landscape, and I realized that a few forsythia shrubs were starting to bloom. Poor things, tricked by the unseasonably warm weather into blooming too soon. In a few days those tender flowers would be exposed to frigid air and prematurely wilt away.

I thought of the way my friends and I had grown up, not unlike those flowers which opened to life only to be met with cold harshness. We had been children of a country that had just lost a bitter war, and had not been spared the ignominious status of the vanquished. Our fathers had been taken away, our means of subsistence reduced to hardscrabble meagerness, our values and beliefs maliciously derogated. And growing up we had been faced with no prospect for education or jobs, regardless of competency.

Life had moved on, each of us had found our own way according to our own mettle as well as chance circumstances. Nevertheless, we had all shared the same experience as those flowers that had the misfortune to be blooming in mid-December.

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