If I tell myself that winter knows best, maybe I’ll start to believe it. I mean, what can it hurt?
At the start of the week the highs were in the 60s, the sun was shining. Now it’s back to the 30s and the clouds have returned. Winter is such a fickle thing, playing with our emotions on a regular basis!
Winter knows best
Tuesday afternoon I wasn’t feeling well, so my usual after-work-walk with Steve didn’t happen. However, my husband was out of town so I knew I needed to do something with Steve. At one point, while lying on the couch with my head covered with a blanket trying to make a migraine go away, I felt a ball land on my shoulder. Steve sent a clear message, but I had to ignore him until the pain passed.
Finally, once the medicine kicked in and I felt a bit more alive, I decided to take Steve on a walk. By this point it was dark, but it wasn’t cold! I’ll take it.
As we were walking in the dark, I thought about how just a few months from now we’ll be able to take a walk at the same time but it will be light out. I’ll be able to see clearly when someone is walking toward me with another dog (I couldn’t see them right away but Steve let me know in his own special whining way *eye roll*).
Winter knows best. I’m sure of it. But, it’s so hard to trust when I’m in the middle of it.
I want bright sunny days that fill me full of energy. I want long days that give me the false sense that I have more time. I want warm breezes that cause me to take deep breaths.
Yes, that’s what I want. But, I know that’s not what I need.
The dark gives space
I need cloudy days that remind me rest is a good thing. Shorter days give me permission to do less. I need cold air that sends me to my comfy clothes and warm quilts.
Even though I resist it, I really do need winter. It turns out winter knows best after all.
In winter I learn that deep work takes place in darkness. While in the depths of my infertility grief, the bulbs in my flower beds reminded me that they need to be in the dark for a long time before they have all the nutrients necessary to bloom. A long time… several long, dark months are needed before they can even consider pushing green shoots above ground.
Similarly, I need the darkness of winter to recharge and allow space for new growth to prepare for spring. There won’t be any blossoms unless I succumb to the darkness.
The cold offers new life
In winter I learn that the cold, bitter air kills off what is no longer necessary. The dreams and visions I held onto no longer served me once we made the choice not to seek medical intervention for my infertility. Grieving in winter feels natural because there is death all around me. But, when I look a little closer, I realize that not everything that looks dead is actually dead. Though the leaves are long gone, the trees are alive and conserving energy during these dark months. The grass is brown but will be revived in due time. Even the brown leaves from various plants in the flower beds are still attached to living bulbs below.
Though some dreams have died, there are others below the surface conserving energy. Not all is lost; not all is dead.
So, you see, winter really does know best. Winter knows that darkness will bring light and death will bring life. Winter knows that we need space to turn inward before we’re ready to face the full brightness of the sun. Winter knows that rest and extra sleep are vital.
Winter knows best. As does spring, summer and fall. Each season brings its own unique gift. In order to see these gifts we have to slow down and pay attention. Winter has made this easy for us… it’s easy to slow down when the days are shorter. For the lessons of winter, I give thanks.