“O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” – Percy Bysshe Shelley
“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.” – John Burroughs
Even in a -25 below day, the sun remains casting light, warming the earth, reflecting off the crystals. No matter the weather, no matter the circumstances, light always remains whether we see or feel it in that moment. Knowing that puts our shadowed frigid moments in perspective as they serve their purpose of transformation. Light always remains. That pull, that thread, that knowing is called hope.
We all have our seasons, our winters to testify to this truth. So, if you are in a -25 below pocket of time right now wandering and lost, suffering and empty, light remains holding you and patiently waiting for you to find it again. Always with you, never letting go.
Winter shall pass when it has done its work, preparing you for the transformation of spring. Grit and resilience breaks the frozen ground to bloom anew to discover yet again the depth of light.
“Spring stirs under silent snow.” – Terri Guillemets
Spring comes sooner when you get out and stir some snow, break a new path. Winter lingers with hibernation. So whatever winters you are going through right now, break out of the pattern of hibernation and get out into the middle of it.
In the midst of our difficulties, there are pockets of joy to burrow into and accept if but for a moment to plant seeds of hope. Spring is stirring. Easter always comes.
“If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” – Frank A. Clark
“I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
In the midst of it all, in the heat of the moment, we see only the height of the mountain, the width of the rift, the depth of the valley. Time and its companion patience eventually bring a fresh perspective, new priorities. We find our perseverance, grit, faith and strength to overcome, to withstand, to rise once again.
Life is often a series of starting again, getting up once more. But it is never starting over or from the very beginning. The journey, places, circumstances and people along the path, bring us to a new beginning, whether we realize it or not. We are moving forward to where we should be, never frozen in place.
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”- Muhammad Ali
If today was less than expected, if you are in the middle of the desert parched and searching for the oasis, it will come in due time. In due time, all starts anew. Spring comes and melts it all into the river of life.
“Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, creeds follow one another, but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity.” – Oscar Wilde
Seeds hibernate to survive winter. Dormant, in waiting, quietly preparing for the ground to warm to break through to take in the light. Time passes, the sun lingers longer and the soothing rains turn the frozen ground soft. Soon the sleeping seeds awaken, unfold and diligently work their way through the crusted ground, revealing the miracle of life reborn yet again.
“Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach
The seeds achieve their potential, rejoicing in brilliant color and delicate texture. Strong enough to survive winter and fragile enough to show their depth of beauty. Seasons change on cue, the cycle continues, the struggle of transformation fades and the joy of fruition takes its rightful place.
Cycles, seasons and life ensue.
“The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory.” – Gary Zukav
“Too many of us go to our graves with our music still inside.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
As I looked at my house light tonight at dusk, I noticed the image of a butterfly as the light spread its wings. What we choose to see guides our day, our way.
To release our music before we go to our graves, we must keep pushing through the cocoon to go from the caterpillar to the butterfly. Transformation takes time and then suddenly, it enters softly like a whisper.
Keep pushing. You never know when that last ounce of pressure and persistence will be your breakthrough, the tipping point. Release your light, your music, your true self – the butterfly.
“Life is one big transition.” – Willie Stargell
Not still winter yet not quite spring.
On the edge.
The grip of winter slowly releases allowing hints of spring to appear.
Moments gather to days and transition time prepares us for transformation.
Releasing what was for what is to be, to the new, the next.
The sun and the rain do their job melting the ice’s resolve.
Blue breaks through the white and the frozen evolves into water.
Gently giving way for the next season.
That which occurs does so in the right time.
Not hurried, prodded or pushed.
In due time, not our time.
“Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life. Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall. Earth teach me courage as the tree which stands all alone. Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring.” – William Alexander
After high 30s yesterday and with a steady increase into the 50s the next few days, the snow will melt transforming the hard ground into soft green grass. The spring thaw uncovers not only the girls’ toys but my socks that they’ve snuck out the past four months. When they grabbed one this morning, I let them go knowing clean up begins today and it gave me a good laugh.
“Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment.” – Ellis Peters
The thaw brings a newness and fresh start that we all need on many levels. It’s been a particularly busy three months and there’s been a lot of autopilot just grinding it out, doing more and more. Frozen and buried in habits of too much doing.
As winter transforms to spring, so can we. The thaw of our judgments, assumptions and ego makes way for hope, joy, kindness and delight in each day. The buds asleep beneath the earth break through and the beauty and promise of what’s next reveals itself in its own time. Cast light and let the thaw begin.
Underneath the cold and bitterness outside and within, there’s hope in the quiet of winter and sweetness in the anticipation of spring. A bud ready to burst through the frozen ground, the warmth of the sun grows stronger, as do we. The blur takes shape and clarity ensues. Underneath will rise, if we allow, trust and believe.
“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther
“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” – Charles Dickens
“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.” – Pedro Calderon de la Barca
With high 30 temperatures and drizzle over the past week, this year we are going to have a very green Christmas in Minnesota and many parts of the country. People were golfing yesterday. I may need to cut the grass if this keeps up. We have had many white and cold Christmases and after the November deep freeze, I am alright with a green Christmas. And I am sure winter has not had its last word.
It’s also a wonderful reminder of what this season is truly about – birth, vitality, life renewed, vibrant color, warmth, redemption, faith, hope and love. This season can be carried in our hearts and actions into the new year and every single day.
Merry Green Christmas.
“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.” –Simone Weil
Thanksgiving morning began with the Turkey Trot 5k with my nieces and nephew Emily, Jenna and Mark in 0 degrees. It ended with sixteen family/friends, four dogs, two turkeys and new memories as the holiday season commences.
“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” – Michel de Montaigne
Many find this season difficult with loved ones who are gone and/or strained family relationships. It’s easy to retreat and hibernate. But if we keep moving and living as fully as we can, we honor those who are not with us by staying in the game. And when rooted by the love and companionship of friends and family, all things are possible, even forgiveness. Care for your roots and plant some new ones this season.