There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”
I’ve lived in various states and countries where the seasons are much different than the standard four. Costa Rica had the rainy season and dry season. Southern California had the moderate season and the sweltering season, and my Colorado has the classic four, the greens popping out from the snow in the spring, the tank-tops summers, the stunning change of colors in the fall and the get out and shovel again winters.
If I had my way, I’d probably forfeit some of those seasons. I’d wave my wand if such a thing existed and suddenly there wouldn’t be as much snow, especially that heavy kind that breaks limbs (and backs). My skiing friends wouldn’t be happy with me. I wouldn’t be happy with me come summer, when I’d want to chill in the river with friends as we tube but would know the rocks would jut out more than would be comfortable for our bums.
No, the wand would destroy.
We all know I can’t change the seasons around us, but I’ve tried changing the seasons of my life. Years ago, I went through a devastating spell. Anguish crippled my heart. I mourned and grieved and mourned some more, but the ache was so great I couldn’t fully let myself grasp it, so I waved the wand if you will, and changed the season. Well, of course the season didn’t really change, but it sure felt like it. I masked it well, like wearing shorts in the winter, acting as if things weren’t really the way they were.
Winter is always winter, shorts or otherwise.
I find myself yet again in winter. 52 weeks of divorce proceedings. Yes, 52. Umpta. The gavel pounded, the decree stamped two weeks shy of a year.
Part of me feels like it should be spring, a celebrating that the proceedings are finally over, yet divorce is never cause for celebration. It’s like having a loved-one on life support: an attempt to mourn a death while the person still lives. Oh, sheer bitterness.
While it isn’t cause for celebration, there is this fear that wells within: If I embrace this winter, will I remain in it forever? Will I be doomed to a life of bitterness or sorrow?
Yes, this thought ravages my mind much too-often, perhaps due to the standard two-week mourning period our society inadvertently doles out. You know, the “what can I do for you?” “I’m here for you” calls and letters after a death, but then the awkwardness most feel around someone whose mourning continues into the next month.
Awkward or not, I’m embracing it (with great fear, that is). This winter has gone on much too long for my liking. I’m ready to skip and sing and laugh with careless abandon. Granted, I do those things now to some degree, but my heart weighs too heavy to do them at the level it once did, but an early spring usually brings death. Buds start blooming, the frost comes, and there goes the crop for the rest of the year.
So this is my season. No, I don’t hope it will last one minute longer than necessary, but I’ll embrace it just the same.
And you know what? This picture I took on a hike reminds me last week that winter can be stunning and exquisite.
This is my season.
What about you? What season do you find yourself in? Are you letting yourself be in that season, or are you attempting to wave a non-existent magic wand?