The sun came up this morning and never went away all day! And actually, yesterday was mostly sunny, too! For Ohio in March, this is a big deal, y’all. A very big deal to we Mid-westerners who haven’t had the privilege of heading south this winter! Never mind that winter may return in 48 hours or less with no real notice. For today we have sunshine, and we shall rejoice big.
I haven’t occupied this space for a long time. It has felt like winter here in this creative corner of my existence. An unforeseen winter, a cold winter, an unpredictable winter. And while I much prefer summer in both my natural and internal world, I have come to recognize that there are some important things that are happening in wintertime even though it doesn’t look like there’s anything going on but frigid winds, bone-chilling dampness, and mud. Too much mud.
Winter is an important time for fields and vineyards for several reasons. Freezing temperatures kill off and help to hold at bay insect pests and pathogens that destroy crops. They allow plants to become dormant and “sleep” to reserve energy and build up for another growing season. Not having a time of dormancy can cause fruit trees to produce a smaller, weaker crop. Dormancy also allows farmers to prune and transplant without harming the plants.
It’s been too close to a year since I’ve been here. My life in many aspects has spun donuts in the ice of this “winter season” of my life. I’ve been hanging on for dear life, sometimes inwardly yelling in sheer terror of the anticipated crash. Which thankfully has never happened! I’ve certainly hit some quite bumpy spots, I’ve had to let go in some scary ways, and I’ve slogged through mud pits that I thought I’d never get out of, but I’ve never actually crashed and burned. [all the praise hands here!!]
Has it been a fun, cozy winter? No, not really. And I’m really ready for the season to change.
Have I learned things? Uh, yes.
My biggest take-away?
Life is MADE of seasons, and seasons mean transition. We naturally transition as our natural world moves from winter to spring. We put away all the winter coats, long sleeves, and boots and get out cooler clothes and flip-flops. (I can’t wait for flip-flops, just sayin’!) But it can be harder to transition well in seasons of our inner life! It’s so much easier to try to keep doing what has been working in the last season than to change to adapt to a new season of life.
But back to my take-away.
Responding and adjusting well in the midst of transition is VITAL to living a thriving and fruitful life!
If I resist changing and growing, it simply means that I will start dying inside right now. Because growth IS change. A plant isn’t growing if it isn’t changing, and if it isn’t growing, there is a super short period of time that it’s holding its own before it starts going backward and dying.
Chances are great that you find yourself in some kind of transition right now, have just adjusted to a big change, or are heading into a new season that will stretch you. It may hurt like crazy, have your head spinning, or make you feel like you aren’t sure you can take the next breath.
But chin up! This season just might the one that strengthens your tenacity, prunes unnecessary or harmful habits and beliefs, and sets you up for a major life harvest.
So don’t give up. Instead, show up. Winter may not be fun, but it is important.
What have you learned from past winters?