Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Seasons

It's become popular to describe different times in our lives as "seasons". The notion is that when things are bad, it is only temporary- a season- and things will get better. There are seasons in marriage, seasons in our relationship with Christ, and seasons during the year. Personally I'm not a fan of that use of this word. Our calendar is marked off by the seasons; they are predictable and last for a set amount of time. On the other hand, the "seasons" in our lives are unpredictable and could continue for any duration. We don't know how high our highs will be, or how low our lows. We don't know when the snow will thaw and flowers will bloom.

But if we were to describe our lives by the seasons, winter would describe a time marked by a cold, barren landscape. Wedged between death, or our lowest low, and rebirth. You might describe it as the long climb back up to spring.

For many, winter is depressing. The days are shorter and if you live where it does get bitterly cold, you try to avoid going outside. Winter also means labor. It's one thing to mow your lawn, it's a whole other to shovel a couple of feet of snow first thing in the morning. You need to start the car early to warm it up and to thaw the windows. If you wear glasses and are outside for long, you notice they fog up when you go back inside.

Doesn't sound too appealing, does it? But I love winter. I'm in Southern California and I miss the snow of my home growing up. Believe it or not, I miss shoveling! It snowed here this winter. For a day. My kids loved it. They built a snowman that melted by the time I returned from work. I love to go out early after a fresh snow. Every step a fresh footprint in the pure blanket before me. The crunch of water and ice under my feet. Then, after some time, and some traffic, those footprints are no more and the pure snow is replaced with tracks of muddy, sooty, slush. So I treasure that moment when the snow is fresh, while it is still pure.

My description doesn't really fit in with the "winter of our discontent" season of life. There's the joy of children playing. The hopefulness of the holidays. The purity of the snow.

But snow melts. The days grow longer (even now the sun is beginning to peek up when only a month ago it would've been pitch black out). And there is rebirth. Yet I miss the snow.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:9-11)

7 comments:

katdish said...

When I was a child in Virginia, I loved the snow. It rarely snows here in Houston, but I have cherished it when it snowed because I knew it was so rare.

Maybe that's why people dislike the snow so much. Because it's lost its magic for them.

HisFireFly said...

I've never lived where there wasn't a season of snow.. might not mind a year or two of hot sun, but I know we need these times to regenerate, hibernate, gestate...

lovely post!

Glynn said...

What's odd for me is that I'm older than the season of spring (OK, a lot older than spring), but in many ways this feels like I'm moving more and more into the springtime -- perhaps because I'm moving closer to life.

Good post, Fatha Frank.

A Joyful Noise said...

I enjoyed your statement that the children enjoy winter and can play and have fun in the snow. What ever the season, we can still rejoyce in the Lord.

Fatha Frank said...

Thank you all for the encouraging comments! I think Katdish nailed it, snow is "magic". I pray it doesn't lose that magic as we grow older, or into different seasons in our lives.

nance marie said...

Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!


glad to see you back...

anewcreation33 said...

We had our first snowfall here in the South of England back in November which came as a real surprise as we had quite a bit. Of course, it caused complete chaos, but the thing about it which I loved the most, was how it forced everyone's manic and busy lives to come to a complete halt; it made everyone reflect about how blessed we really are in this little part of the world, and about how much we complain about insignificant things.

Snow to me is a reminder from God that His daily manna is all we ever needed and will ever need. Why do we keep looking to the world to provide us with that which we don't need?