On the Closing of Winter

freestocks-org-505570-unsplashBack when I was working less than ideal jobs, the slowest time of the year for me was winter. The combination of hating how I passed my time with the unremarkable winter days left me feeling excessive. It felt like I was squandering my time because there was nothing to show for it. I wasn’t working a job that mattered to me, I wasn’t progressing in my life the way I wanted to be, I wasn’t doing anything outward that appeared to be important. When I looked outside at the bare trees, my feelings aligned with the season of winter. Sometimes, we find ourselves in a time of dormancy and growth is slowed to almost non-existence.

But even in slow growth we can find hope. As Pietro Aretino says, “Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.” Yes, I spent a season of my life living in winter. There were many days when, upon taking inventory, I had nothing to show for my efforts. Until one day – suddenly – there was. While it didn’t look like much in the years preceding the present day, I had always been journeying toward the life I envisioned for myself. It just took patience and persistence, and the belief that one day the winter season would come to a close.

At the close of winter, the trees gear up for their seasons of performance: the buds have arrived, tiny flowers peek out. Now my feelings reflect how the trees look. I have the endurance to run full-steam ahead into the rest of my years. Where should I go? What should I do next? How can I best take advantage of this time of warm, inviting weather in my life?

I realize now that my season of winter was pivotal in laying the foundation for my life. I had to slowly grow internally before I could bloom, perform, and be very much outward, as I am now. When it comes to achieving a dream, it always takes the unglamorous work of preparation and persistence.

In her Oscars acceptance speech for best original song (“Shallow” in A Star Is Born), Lady Gaga said it best: “I have worked hard for a long time, and it is not about winning but it’s about not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it. There’s a discipline for passion . . .”

For me, that dream is to live a life in which each day is better than the last. Some days this is easier to achieve than others, but always it is the goal. Keeping a “discipline for passion” in our lives ensures that we get where we are going, even if it’s not exactly what we set out for originally.

Friends, I’d love to know: where are you journeying to in your life these days and how is that going?

4 thoughts on “On the Closing of Winter

  1. I find it amazing how we can learn so much from nature. The winter is a time for roots to grow so the following season the tree’s,shrubs,etc. can expand their branches and flourish. You have tapped into the importance and purpose of seasons.Awesome reading as always, Thank You:)

    Liked by 1 person

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