It is winter. When you live in Canada or the northern part of the US or pretty much every state in the US this year, you know what winter is. Here , winter lasts 4 months in a “warm year” and 7 months in a typical year. Yes, 7 months…October to May on the particularly rough years. Spring is exciting because it comes fast and furious and barely lasts long enough to appreciate. Summer is lovely and always welcome. Fall is glorious but also way too short.
Four seasons makes you appreciate each one. Having winter half the year REALLY makes you appreciate the other 3 seasons. I feel sorry for those of you who barely get winter. Yes, it is long, it is cold and people are tired of it. Sorry, we have at least 2-3 more months of it! If you don’t have a long winter I think you probably get spoiled. You likely don’t appreciate the warm sunny days as much as you should. You probably don’t see the incredible re-birth in the spring after the harshness of a long, cold winter. And you likely don’t relish each and every golden autumn day knowing that each moment could very well be your last with wind coming in a moment’s notice to whip the colorful leaves off their branches.
There’s a lot of complaining going on and you know, I’m not completely heartless. Winter is tough. If you have to drive the highways and biways for work or to work and school, winter is difficult. We use more fuel to keep our vehicles warm. We live in a state of constant stress when highway driving in a storm and we know the value of an emergency kit, food, blankets and snow gear in our vehicles. This is a harsh climate and this year, some people are just done with it all. Tonight, I am looking out on a snowy yard as the flakes continue to fall. It’s beautiful. But I know that elsewhere the beauty is lost in the worry , the work and the dread as more snow falls than people know what to do with. Livelihoods are on hold and danger looms each day. The snow can be brutal as well as beautiful.
But I thank God for the seasons. They teach us to be patient. They teach us to wait. I don’t particularly like waiting. I’m pretty much an instant-gratification kind of girl. So waiting through a snow storm for the plow to clear the road when all I want to do is go to town and get my mail is really irritating at times.
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
And yet, we wait. We may be waiting for another week, another month or another year. Waiting is a part of winter.
In life, I feel as though my current season of winter has lasted a very , very long time. I am waiting for spring, for new growth, for the joy of seeing life spring forth from a barren and sleeping vision. Our lives have been in a perpetual state of hibernation. But only the Keeper of the Seasons is able to make the decision when spring will come. Yes we have a calendar that tells us when winter is over. But you all know as well as I that rarely does a Western Canadian winter obey the calendar. The seasons obey the Creator. And in my life, I wait, knowing that winter is soon coming to a close, although I’m not sure when it will be. All I can do is get my gardening tools ready and prepare to plant some seeds. The garden will need to be tilled and prepared once the snow disappears. And so , with my heart, I wait and prepare for when the winter will end.
Daniel 2: 21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
Psalm 104:19 He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.