by Julia Dillard
Winter is my least favorite season. I hate being cold, I hate darkness and I hate snow. Winter is the season I turn into a total grinch. I miss the warm, sunny busy-ness of summer and I use winter to pout about it for three months.
However it recently occurred to me that if I let myself turn into a grinch every winter, I will be green, hairy and unpleasant for a quarter of my life. So I decided I need to figure out how to embrace EVERY season–even the ones that at first glance hold no joy for me.
Thankfully, a friend of mine unwittingly said something that has begun to warm my heart to the snowy cold. We were talking about seasons in nature and the way animals respond to the changes. He turned to me and said “Humans try to be productive 100% of the year – work work work. Animals don’t do that. In winter they stop producing. They hibernate. They rest. Animals go with the seasons.”
Go with the seasons. That phrase has echoed in my heart, and I realized it doesn’t just apply to natural seasons, but spiritual and life seasons too. There are times when our lives seem to be frozen with no visible fruit or growth. Or maybe we are shut out from opportunities by a metaphorical snow-storm. Sometimes we are forced to gaze into the blank whiteness of loss and disappointment. Days are short, and nights are long.
Whenever I encounter those “winter” seasons my first instinct is to fight. If I work harder or pray harder maybe I can turn winter into summer. But I have come to see that winters are a precious part of life.
Winters offer us the chance to rest and to find our value not in our doing but in our being. The hush of snow-covered landscapes begs us to be quiet, to listen. The cold corrals us around the fireplace with those closest to us. There is suddenly space in our lives for rest, restoration and intimacy.
Though these “winters” may come with pain, disappointment or disillusionment, they may also come with the warmth and comfort of the Father. All we have to do is go with the season. We have an open invitation by the fireplace in God’s living room, to sit with Him, to know and be known by Him. Don’t waste the winter waiting for summer – embrace it. There is sweetness and beauty buried in the snow.
Julia Dillard is a Dance Movement
Therapist, writer and dancer.
She loves a good book.
And enjoys bringing solutions
and hope to those around her.