I’ve always liked the spring time. My love for gardening and flowers as a young adult just intensified my love for this time of year. Seeing the green shoots of spring bulbs bursting forth towards the warmth of the sun is so exciting. I often find myself looking daily at the ground where some of my favorite perennials lay buried beneath the recently frozen dirt, inspecting for any sign of life. Seeing the grass turn green and all the colors exploding just lifts my spirits and energizes me.
As we saunter into the summer, I enjoy the longer days and the warmth of the sun and full of non-stop activities. I know Indiana is not always the most comfortable place to be, but from a plant lover’s perspective, it’s a pretty good growing season. I’m thankful for the variety of plants and species that we’re capable of growing. I love rolling down the windows and enjoying the sweet smell of the corn fields on July summer evenings. As the leaves on the corn stalks begin to fade and dry, there’s something in the air that tells us that change is coming.
As fall slowly begins to come around, the change is kind of hard for me to take. As the landscape changes from green to brown, it makes me melancholy to see the empty fields, empty trees, and empty gardens. As I’ve aged, I have gained more of an appreciation for the season of autumn and all the pretty colors, but honestly I get really sad about my plants and flowers dying and the cold that creeps in during the evenings. I do enjoy warm sweatshirts, boots, and pumpkin spice and it has helped bring some joy to this particular season, but the change is hard. I do love the reflective time of gratitude that many of us finally take after a summer of busy plans. It’s a great way to prepare our hearts and homes for what the winter brings.
As winter makes itself known, with gray landscape scenes and the occasional blanket of white snow, we search for cozy-cozy blankets, cozy homes, maybe a cozy holiday gathering. The branches are bare and the ground beneath our feet is frozen and often icy. As temperatures dip and the winds blow, we do our best to keep the cold out–from creeping into the cracks. The dark seems to come so early and last so long. We long for the sun’s rays to shine and give us warm spots to bask in for a bit. Around the end of January, I begin to dream of beaches and sunny destinations, as I worry about my favorite plants and young trees that are outside. I hope that their roots have grown deep prior to this season, while they lie dormant waiting to awake.
Regardless of the time of year, my spiritual life often correlates to one of these seasons. Unfortunately, just like my favorite trees and plants, we need to cycle through these seasons to grow in our faith. Sometimes we find ourselves in seasons where, just like summer, things are good, we are thriving. However, just like the air in August, we can sense that change is coming and if we are wise, we’ll take precautions and offer gratitude for the ways that God has blessed us in the past. Remembering His faithfulness prepare us for what is coming. It strengthens us for the cold season of winter that we soon find ourselves in, when we feel hard and almost dead on the inside. If we can just stay close to the cozy warmth of the “son,” He’ll remind us that spring is coming. We just have a bit more to wait until the ground softens and the warmth of His sun shines on our souls and awakens our spirits with a new energy to grow. Finally, we reach our spirits towards His life giving light and bloom once more.
What season are you in right now? Whatever season you may find yourself in, I pray that you’ll find the joy somewhere and know that it won’t last. Even if you’re in a “summer” season, hang on- cause change will come. When it does, what will you give thanks for and how will you prepare for the winter? Grief definitely is a season of winter. I’m holding on to the hope of spring though and I’ve been blessed with some cozy times of comfort with The Comforter. Even in this season, there is so much beauty. So, if you’re in the “winter” like me, take heart-springs coming! When the time comes, you will awaken, grow and bloom again. I just know it.