“Within the grip of winter, it is almost impossible to imagine the spring. The gray perished landscape is shorn of color. Only bleakness meets the eye; everything seems severe and edged. Wither is the oldest season; it has some quality of the absolute. Yet beneath the surface of winter, the miracle of spring is already in preparation; the cold is relenting; seeds are wakening up. Colors are beginning to imagine how they will return. Then, imperceptibly, somewhere one bud opens and the symphony of renewal is no longer reversible. From the black heart of winter a miraculous, breathing plenitude of color emerges.” From “To Bless the Space Between Us” by John O’Donohue.
We are on a threshold collectively as a world, a nation, a community, even as families. We have lived through two years of Covid-19 that feels like a permanent state of winter with no end in sight. But…lest we forget…spring always comes imperceptibly, secretly, unnoticed at first, until one day we wake up and the world is filled with colors, warmth, and a freshness that wasn’t there the day before. Spring crossed the threshold and winter gave up its hold on the world. I believe, this is where we are today…waiting for spring. In the ancient Hebrew language, the word for waiting also meant hoping for.
So, as we wait, the question we might want to consider is what are we hoping for? What is it we want to accomplish in life? What do we want as our next chapter? In answering these and probably many other questions, we may discover our next season. Will we go ahead and retire as so many others have done? Will we realize how unfulfilling our current job is and find a new one? Will we end a toxic relationship? Will we get counseling to help us through the emotions we are unable to deal with on our own? What will we discover? Maybe we will pick up an old hobby we have missed. Maybe we will begin a new one. Maybe we will go back to school and finish a degree or maybe we will start a degree program. Maybe we will move or maybe we will downsize. Now, is this time between, as winter wanes and we wait expectantly for spring, it is the time to discover what is next.
And the time is now as spring is already beginning. Not just literally as the days are beginning to get longer and the temperatures become warmer. But we are emerging from the longest “winter” we have ever experienced as we begin to see Covid-19 numbers drop and hospitalizations continue to go down. People are emerging from their cocoons (homes) and are beginning to get out more. We are learning how to live with Covid, just as we have learned how to live with other diseases that have run rampant through our populations in the past like polio, smallpox, and the flu. Our generation is learning how resilient we can be.
And in our resilience, we are learning we can do amazing things. Which brings us back to all the questions…what are we going to do, what are we going to change as we emerge and embrace life and all it offers once again?
May God be with you in all your choices!