“Every season is a gift for us. It is just our job to see it. It is our job to make it into something beautiful and broadcast it out. Just like plants, we too, are shining in the dark, even if no one can see it yet.” ~ Carly MacQuarrie
Shhh.Shhh…Shhh. The awful little ice scraper I found in my car isn’t working. I press as hard as I can. Shhh. Shhh. SHHHHHH!!! For all the noise it’s making, you’d think some ice would be coming off the windshield, but no. I shall be late to work for sure. Winter. Again. I wasn’t ready.
How are you doing this winter? Are you someone who thrives on cozy scarves and crisp, cold air? Or are you white knuckling your way through the darkness, perhaps cursing a little, as you scrape the ice off your frozen car?
The Beauty of Every Season
As much as we may prefer one season over another, there are four for a reason, and each one is so important.
In spring everything starts waking up and coming to life. All is fresh and new, a bright sparkly opportunity to start over. Summer has more daylight, more sunshine, more time, more gardening, more adventures—more fun!
Fall can be beautiful, too—cozy, and refreshing. A brisk hike in the red leaved forest. Winter, though, has always been a struggle for me. It is cold, dark, dead. It’s hard to be motivated or spend enough time outside. The day and nighttime darkness overwhelms me.
As I get older, though, I’m finally starting to recognize its purpose. On this planet there is always a balancing of darkness and light. We need both of them.
I’ve always considered the light to be the place where the magic happens. It’s where the fun is, it’s where things are easier. It’s where we shine. But the darkness is equally important. We learn our lessons here. Here we are challenged and forced to grow. The darkness also gives us the chance to go inward and reflect on who we are and what we want.
How to Embrace the Winter Season
If you are a gardener, perhaps you’ve seen parallels between the garden and ourselves. I see the garden as a metaphor, a teacher even. When you look out at the garden in winter, it looks dead. Sparse. Unappealing. But things are just dormant. They are resting. And inside, underneath, in the places we can’t see, there is magic happening.
The plants are recharging and resting, this is their season. They are refining and developing, making adjustments to be better next time. No one can shine all the time; we have to replenish. Without the winter, plants couldn’t have spring. They need the cold and the hardships. They need a place down deep to hide and rest.
And we are the same. Where I live in the world, we push ourselves to shine—and especially to work—all year long. We don’t take the time we need to build ourselves back and to recover. It’s dark and still outside because it is time for us to rest. Winter is like a great night’s sleep. And we need it to wake up refreshed in springtime. Without winter, we couldn’t grow.
So this winter, I encourage you to rest. Take a nap. Go about your day more slowly. Go inside yourself and remember your summer adventures, your fall challenges. Reflect on what you want to do with them. How can you transform your beautiful moments and hard times into something that makes you better? How can you turn them into seeds and let them grow?
The beauty of the repetition of every season, is that there is always a fresh chance up ahead in the distance. Always an opportunity to make adjustments and get it right next time.
Even as a white knuckled, cursing frozen windshield scraper, I still know this to be true. Every season is a gift for us. It is just our job to see it. It is our job to make it into something beautiful and broadcast it out. Just like plants, we too, are shining in the dark, even if no one can see it yet.
May your winter this year be magical in the darkness.