The Changing Seasons
I have always loved Winter.
There’s a wondrous kind of beauty — shiny vistas — white garbed trees in robes of fresh fallen snow … deep drifted lanes - and hoary hills and slopes - perhaps reminding us of winters past … of toboggans, sleds, and sleigh bells … the crusty groan and cut of runners breaking drifts.
We all have memories of Winter’s past - outdoor pond hockey. And skiing (whether in Alberta’s Sunshine slopes - or at Lake Louise — or just on some little bump of a southern Ontario hill.
But Winter also brings its cold, bitter winds, its black and white, its hunker-down time.
I have a debilitating malady called Raynaud’s Syndrome, that causes my fingers and toes, nose and ears, to go snow-white — dead & numb until thawed out gradually under warm water. Winter has — in many ways, been lost to me.
During a visit to Africa, I discovered that certain fruits - apples, cherries, plums, for instance - cannot grow there. They do not experience the cold and the shut-down sleep of winter our northern fruit trees know, and need, in order to blossom and bear fruit in warm weather months.
We need the warmth and the cold of the four seasons. And so too, our lives are enriched and made fruitful because of both the ease and the challenge of times and seasons. Vivaldi and several movies underline what we know in our bones — that we will experience every Season of the year and of our life. And that, even in Winter, we should pause to say, ’Thank you!’
The hauntingly beautiful Season that is Autumn comes to us early, sometimes, Leaves of coloured splendour fall. Beauty fades… health fails ... and moments and memories flee. — And soon follows Winter. We are being weaned from earth - prepared for a new and better world.
I believe that the best is yet to be… that a new Spring will come, - that every kind of suffering will be redeemed … that all that’s lost will be found - that this out-of-whack and out-of-sorts world will be made right.
In fact, as author E. Margaret Clarkson has put it: "Grace grows best in Winter!”