A Rainbow in Winter by Sherrie Hansen

In real life, it’s called a bad case of the blues, losing hope, or hitting rock bottom.   In a book, it’s called the black moment – that devastating culmination of circumstances when all momentum comes screeching to a halt, when you think things are so bad that they can’t possibly get any worse, and then, they do – that time when all hope is lost.

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The thing that saddens me is that, whereas the characters in the books we write and read almost always come around to a happy ending, in real life, when we come to a dead end, we sometimes (often?) really do give up and walk away from the things that could bring us true happiness.

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We all know that summer comes for only a season, and eventually, must ease into fall – which leads to the desolate cold of winter.

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In some cases, it’s even given a name – SAD, or seasonal affective disorder. I’ve been prone to it for years. It can be depressing and debilitating. It can mean death to your dreams and the end to your goals.

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In my book, Sweet William, Lyndsie and William seem to have finally overcome the issues that are keeping them apart when tragedy rips their dreams to shreds. The scenes that follow are some of the blackest I’ve ever written, but because of the pain they have to work through, their joy is deeper, and the ending, more sweet than any before.

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When we hit a wall, we have two choices… we can crawl into a cave, cry ourselves to sleep, and settle in to hibernate for the winter, and maybe beyond.

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Or, we can spend our winters looking for bright spots.

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Because there are rainbows in winter, and rainbows in deserts, and flowers and dashes of color where you might least expect them, and inspiration in odd places.

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And the sun keeps shining even on the coldest days.

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It may be blotted out, or obscured for a time, but it is there, giving warmth and melting the snow away from your heart, and making you ready for spring.

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The next time you feel hopeless and blue, read a book, maybe even THE Book.

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Horrible things will happen, maybe even things that are worse than whatever is making you sad.

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And then, wonder of wonder, there will be a resurrection, and out of the ashes will come new life, and somehow, you will find a happy ending.

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Have faith. There are rainbows even in the desert.

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13 Comments

Filed under photographs, Sherrie Hansen, Travel, writing

13 responses to “A Rainbow in Winter by Sherrie Hansen

  1. Very nice photo essay, Sherrie. Did you take the pics?

  2. Ernesto Patino

    I live in Southern Arizona. Enjoyed your photos and poignant words.

    • You have a beautiful state! We have been thoroughly enjoying the desert. Most of the pictures were taken at the Desert Botanical Garden in Scottsdale and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, plus a few near Sedona.

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  4. Beautiful, inspiring and hopeful essay, Sherrie. Well done!!! And I must say, fabulous photos!!!!

  5. Methinks I hit my wall this winter. Thank you for rainbows.

  6. Sherrie, I read your blog a few days ago and liked it. I especially enjoyed your photos. You’re a great photographer! I can identify with your blues. When I lived in the Chicago area for eight years, every September, I would find myself dipping into a melancholy mood. I knew that we only had days before the time change and cold, blistering weather with snow, snow, snow…and ice made its presence known and felt. My mood typically lasted the entire season. I would only leave the house (I worked from my home) when I absolutely had to. In fact, the first spring, a neighbor two doors down saw me outside, walked down and asked, “Are you new here?” We laughed at his sarcasm. I now live in South Carolina where it rarely dips below 40 degrees. I’m much happier throughout the year as I walk outside to be greeted by the sun and relatively warm temperatures. For you, I hope the season goes quickly and he warmth and your beautiful flowers make their appearance soon as they lift your spirits.

  7. Sometimes the happy ending is a cop-out, because you know it can’t really happen. There’s nothing wrong with bitter-sweet, if it fits your characters. I think what you write must be true – you owe your readers that…

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