It seemed to me that this past Winter was especially hard. My home town was spared the horrible blizzards that devastated other parts of the Midwest, but our Winter was still made up of months of very cold temperatures and too much snow and ice. I don’t know if it’s my age or that my volunteer job of walking dogs at the local animal shelter means I’m outside for long periods of time, but whatever the reason, I don’t tolerate the cold very well. The blood drains out of my fingers, leaving them bleached white and painful, my nose runs continuously, and my eyes tear so much that everyone thinks I’m crying.
So you can see why I was really, really, ready for Winter to be over, even as the frigid temperatures hung on and the promise of Spring seemed so very far away. I often found myself wondering just how big of a beach-front Florida condo we could buy if we sold our house and drained our savings accounts. Sometimes I thought about just staying in my nice warm bed all day, reading books and eating hot soup. I even toyed with the idea of having all the supplies I needed delivered to me so that I didn’t have to venture out into the cold.
But I didn’t act on any of those crazy impulses. Instead, I just kept to my regular routine, knowing that sooner or later, Winter would give up and leave, making room for the Spring that I was longing for. And sure enough, Spring finally showed up.
The past couple of weeks have been (mostly) wonderfully warm, with just enough rain to wash away the nasty tree pollen that triggers my allergies. The flowers are blooming, the trees are budding, and the birds are singing outside my window every morning. The days are getting longer, and it now stays light well into the dinner hour, which means we can both cook and eat outside on our patio.
I believe Winter comes to all of us in many ways. Some times it’s the literal Winter of cold, nasty weather and long, dark nights. Other times, it’s the hardships and losses that that we suffer through and that can make life feel so very difficult, both physically and emotionally. There are times when it seems as if our personal Winter will never end.
That’s when it helps me to remember that at the end of every seasonal Winter, no matter how hard and how long it has been, comes Spring. The sun gets a little stronger, the temperatures a little warmer and the days last a little longer with each passing week. And that reminds me that the dark days in our personal lives don’t last forever either. It may take a long time, but eventually our burdens will feel just a little bit lighter, our hearts will feel just a little bit warmer, and our spirits will celebrate the arrival of our very own Spring.