It’s still dark outside, the sun has yet to rise. It’s the middle of winter. Yet, I can hear the sounds of spring even though I can see nothing. I hear the birds chirping and it reminds me of a sunny summer morning. It makes my heart happy because, for me, it is the promise of spring.
The trees outside are starting to bud and with each passing week the buds will grow bigger and bigger until they open up in pink and white blossoms, filling the trees. The chirping birds will be joined by more birds…their spring babies…as these winter days come to an end.
I do not like winter but I realize it is necessary. Winter feels like death to me. All the beauty of the spring and summer starts to slowly fade away in the fall. It dries up and blows off it’s source and then comes winter and the trees are bare and the beautiful colors of spring and summer are long gone. Nature dies so that the ground and creation can rest.
I’m not a fan.
I’m also not a fan of rest but after some trial and much error I have learned it is not optional. It is necessary. The promise of spring I hear outside my window is a beautiful reminder of the seasons of our lives. We all go through a winter at some time or another. It’s possible you've experienced several seasons of winter in a row and you’re wondering if that’s all there is…winter. You haven’t heard the birds chirping with the promise of spring in a very long time. And the trees are yet without buds. Spring is NOT on the horizon.
Sometimes our winters feel long…and cold..and dark. And often they can feel really uncomfortable. Winter is a transition and transitions are always uncomfortable. In the death and the resting, is the rebuilding so that when spring comes everything is like brand new again. In our winters we give death to the past and rest and regroup as we transition into a completely new season of our lives.
Maybe, like me, you’ve had your fair share of winters in recent years and the promise of spring makes your heart full of joy. Hearing the birds this morning reminded me that, while I don’t know what this next season will be like - it could be record rain fall and dark, gray days or it could be unseasonably warm and sunny and the crocuses pop up from the ground early - I do know that something new is coming and that winter isn’t going to last forever.
Spring is a new hope (like what I did there? not even a SWjunkie) that after a barren winter, life can be sunny and bright and beautiful and colorful again. If you’ve ever been through a depression this is what it feels like - depression feels like winter and recovery feels like spring. After fighting through many years of long term depression I have a keen liking for spring and all the little promises that come along with it.
Part of the healing is awareness. Look for the signs - feel them, hear them, see them - and immerse yourself in the hope of what this new season can be in your life.