Every season has its own beauty. I love autumn…the pop of colors, the crunch of leaves underfoot, the crisp air, the scent of fireplaces in use again…I’m a big fan. It’s like the world is goofing off one last time before it puts itself to bed.

And then comes winter.

Spring, summer, fall, and winter make powerful analogies to the seasons of life, as a gazillion poems and stories illustrate. Typically, winter represents death, dormancy, despair—all the fun things. Yes, there’s the purity of the new fallen snow, but for the most part, winter is symbolically bleak.

Thankfully, spring does come…eventually.

I must admit that I feel like I’ve been lying dormant in a really long winter. Some days are more blustery and gray than others, though there are days of bright sun, too. But I am so ready for spring to spring.

 

winter-by-bartosz-gorlewicz

 

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in winter? That as you assess your life and what is swirling about in it, you see that you greatly need buds to bloom and green to sprout…but the calendar keeps shifting on you?

It is sometimes hard to keep the perspective that spring will come—especially if you’ve been mired in a long, hard winter.

But it does come. As Shelley says, “O, Wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” or David in Psalm 30, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

So…yeah. My alarm is set. I’m ready for the morning.

 

winter-by-todd-diemer

 

I recently ran into a friend who, last I knew, was making his way through a really hard winter season of life. But as I asked him how he was doing, I could tell something was different. He broke into an easy, bright smile and said that he was actually doing really well—“I’m in a new season. I can tell.” The way he beamed reinforced his words. Spring had sprung, and I was delighted for him. His winter had been thrust upon him, blindsiding him, and he deserved so much better. But there is no “get out of winter” card for good guys. Everyone has seasons of varying length and intensity to make their way through.

Of course, while you’re stuck in winter, you can make the best of it. Build forts. Go sledding. Throw a few snowballs. Take a cue from these two goofballs*:

 

 

There are ways to fight the gray.

Those heartening respites, though temporary, help us keep trudging through the hard seasons and remembering that there is joy to be found even in the gloom.

Long, hard winters make me value the springs, summers, and falls of life all the more.

But even with all that “grand perspective,” as we head into winter on the calendar, I’m ready for a new life spring to bloom. Like, really ready.

Now if I could just get life to cooperate.

Until then, if you’re stuck, too…maybe we can get a good snowball fight going?

 

*If you’ve been reading me of late, then you know that we’re coping with the loss of two of our beloved pups. This video shows them in better days. Not only watching them be their silly selves, but hearing myself laugh is a great expression of the joy they brought us.

 

All photos are my own or used with permission.
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