Monday, April 12, 2010

Winter Whining

I'm reposting some of my favorite posts from my previous blog. This was my first 'real' post, published on 3/17/2008.

I knew what was going to happen as soon as I started hearing the weather forecast for Sunday night. I hoped the snow would pass us by. I hoped for the sun. Monday morning I stumbled to the window, peeked through the curtains and...not just three, but FIVE inches of new snow lay on the ground that had been nearly laid bare by a week's worth of thawing.

I closed the curtains and went about the morning routine; just waiting for the moment I knew was coming. Gates, my five year old, got up, ate breakfast, got dressed, all without looking out the window. But I knew what was coming. Quietly I started to fold up his snow pants and put them in his backpack. I carried the boots upstairs. I could see it coming.

"No Mommy, I don't want to wear my boots and take my snow pants to school today."

"I'm sorry, Gates, but you really need to today."

"No, Mommy, I don't WANT to. I don't need them today!"

The moment of truth arrived. I walked to the window and pulled aside the curtain. I knew what was coming.

Shock. Disbelief. Then...Drama! Wailing! Crying! Anger! "WHY did the snow come back? I don't WANT the snow to come back! It has been winter for too long! The snow has been on the ground FOREVVVVVERRRR! Arrgh! Spring is NEVER going to get here!" (I'll be honest, I'm right there with him on the whole idea, but there's something less acceptable about a grown woman collapsing to the floor and wailing about the unending gloom of winter.)

And yet, I have my own fits, my own temper tantrums about the winters of my soul. I trudge through my days with the gray clouds always there, always threatening to send the snow and blowing winds that will force me to my knees once again. Even when they clear for a moment I'm waiting, just waiting for them to move back in again. It feels as if winter has been here forever. What if the world has tilted on its axis and spring doesn't come this time?

Then the warming trend starts. Streams that were bound and frozen start to have trickles of life in them again, snow starts to melt exposing what was underneath. Hope creeps in. Spring? Maybe? And then the clouds descend again. The snow falls and the water stops flowing. Drama. Wailing. Crying. Anger. "I don't get it, God! Why is this happening? It feels like I've been frozen here FOREVER! When is spring coming? IS it coming? Why does it have to be winter for SO LONG?"

In his book, "Let Your Life Speak," Parker Palmer talks about seeing life not as a manufacturing model in which we must make things happen ourselves, but as an agrarian model, a cycle of seasons and growing. Winter is the time of dormancy, the time of rest that is essential to all living things.

I'll admit, I don't want to see it as essential. I want the sunshine, the growth. I don't like this state of being frozen. But the thaw will come, eventually. And the stream that is newly unbound after a thaw is not the same stream that runs in the middle of the summer. The summer stream is often placid, peaceful, and there's nothing wrong with that. But the unbound stream? The stream that has burst through the ice and runs with the weight of all the winter's snow? That stream rushes with passion and purpose. It shatters obstacles and prepares the land for growth. It carries the excitement of new life.

Winter will end. Spring will come. And grace will be unbound.

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