shifting seasons

Posted: February 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

February is drawing to a close and I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t be happier about that.  The first two months of the year have been consistently the hardest ones for me to get through, for as far back as my memory goes.  They are the longest months – they seem to crawl along and take up like half the year while the other ten months crowd into the other half, hurrying by.

A lot of that for me is Illinois weather.  January and February are dismal.  It’s cold, but all the new-and-fun have worn off the cold by the time December is through.  Snow seems rarely as beautiful in this passage as it did in December – it quickly turns to gray.  The sun spends such a short portion of each 24-hour period shining on us – the business of going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark is for sure a contributor to the general malaise of this passage.

Maybe part of it is just the crash of no cool holidays after the bonanza of one holiday after another through November and December.  Oh, there’s Valentine’s Day I guess, but that’s such a “haves vs. have-nots” deal that even now that I do have, I’m mostly feeling empathetic pain for those who don’t on that day, and am glad to see it just move along.

So the opening of the year is challenging.  If I’m gonna fall into a depression, that’s when it generally happens.  If I’m gonna get stuck in a tired funk, that’s the time.  Even when I know it’s coming and am preparing for the battle, it can be less than fun.  For me this year’s trip through hasn’t been as hard as so many of them were in the past; still I’m ready to move on to March.

I’ve been too busy to think on the coming of the changing season almost at all, but in the past few days I’ve realized my unconscious mind and my body are starting to gear up for it.  Garden thoughts are starting to crowd into my mind.  As I walked out my back door the other day, my mind immediately did a reconfiguration of the space between the house and the garden and I couldn’t wait to tell G about what project I’d just dreamed up.  My brain has started working out details for the fence we want to put up out front, and for how to get flowers to grow there on the corner where the dirt is a nasty, uncooperative clay that has thus far killed anything planted there.  And when I woke in the wee hours of this morning, I was trying to calculate how to get back to more miles on my bike this year after 3 years of almost no miles at all – not for the exercise of it, not for any “should” of it, but just because of the deep longing in me to be back out there.

Seasons are good things.  Pretty much all of us from Illinois like to complain about the way the seasons present themselves, but they are such a great illustration of how life works.  Getting through another January and February and stepping into the joy of spring teaches me over and over that no hard passage is permanent – that while hope might lie buried under the cold snow for a passage, it does spring forth again.  That more daylight is just around the corner.  That warmth and fun and ease in moving around is on the horizon.  Just knowing the calendar is about to flip over to March makes my heart lighter, and the practical application of that can be carried over.

This morning I’m excited about spring racing toward us, and glad that it generally arrives here WAY before the calendar acknowledges it with an official date.  I can feel the parts of me that have been sleepy in these dark months starting to wake up, and it is good.  So very good.

If the dark’s been pushing you down, may your memory of better seasons and certainty that this dark is just a season rise up in you.  May you begin to wake up.  May your heart start to grow light.

He made seasons for this very reason.  Nothing’ll ever convince me otherwise.


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