Each month has a certain character, a certain flavour, a certain whiff. So, for me, December (also my birthday month) has always tasted of peppermint and biting winds, of crisp air and sounds of pealing bells.
March, on the other hand, has been linked with bright flowers and confused weather, a time when you feel like putting on the fan while it’s still not quite warm, taking a sweet pleasure in pain.
June, with the monsoon clouds, encircling the skies and threatening to invade any time is associated with the purifying smell of freshly wet earth and a sepia tinted horizon, a time of moody reflection.
In the last few years, December has also come to mean heartbreak, a heartbreak caused by broken hopes, broken friendships, and a loss of faith. It’s all the more sad because I used to wait for Christmas all year long, revel in all its joy and hope. Lately, it just reminds me of all that’s missing, mom’s last few days on earth, a time when hopes of mom getting well were reignited and then dashed.
In the space of a month, we went from realising that she was critical to hoping life would get back a sense of normalcy to realising things would never look up. By Christmas, she could barely look up at the decorations on the tree and on my birthday she just looked at me askance. And her death came just four days after my birthday.
For now, the season feels tarnished. They say the first year is the toughest. I don’t know if things will seem different later but for now, this is what it is like. Perhaps I am awaiting a Christmas miracle which makes me once again believe in the spirit of the occasion, in birthdays, in happy days…