My feeling for winter can be described as chaotic and distressing yet, benevolent and spiritual. As a child growing up in Nigeria, winter season was harmattan season, a time when people prepare for heavy winds and clouds of dust, a time of periodic destruction of what has been built and treasured. I remember it was also a time of great gatherings of families, friends and festivities. In my village, regardless of your religious practices, everyone in one way or another celebrated a spiritual engagement. It was a time for rebirth and a time to worship. As a child, I could never grasp the concept of feeling emotionally isolated and at the same time, so connected to people. At times, I felt like I was a fraud during these celebrations because I could not quite grasp the concept of celebrating a season during which my skin dried up, my lips chapped and my eyes teared and reddened from the dusty harmattan wind. As an adult I still get feelings of discontent, left over from my childhood yet, I am still thankful.
Why am I thankful, you may ask? I am thankful because I understand the feeling of trepidation that come with the approach of the year’s conclusion. A year filled with tumult and decisions that challenged the soul, I managed to survive it . I know that I am not completely healed, but like the dust of the harmattan wind, my feelings for the year have not completely settled. Yet I am hopeful that when it does settle, it will settle into new beginnings. I am completely okay even though not all of my problems have been solved. I am grateful to celebrate this season because, we have been given a chance to start anew. No matter where you live, this time of year is a signal to celebrate your resurgence; despite how tough life was, is and will be, you and I are here. Gratitude comes in that we are given another opportunity for rebirth and healing. To all my clients, friends and family, I am thankful that I was able to be a part of your life and I am glad you allowed me to be a part of yours.
Uduak (Udie) Osom holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology from San Jose State University. Udie has served students of all ability levels from preschool through grade 12, for over 20 years. She is very passionate about neuro-developmental disabilities and social-cognitive disabilities. She is the owner/director of Innovative Therapy Services, a pediatric speech, language and social skills clinic in Santa Clara, CA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.