I love fall. There is something so invigorating about the crispness of the air, the visual rush of brilliant shades of crimson, amber and orange. The cool mornings, breaking way to the warmth of a sunny day, then gently cooling again with the rise of the moon. It is a wild season, full of all of the colors of creation.
There is also something sad about fall. It is as though all of creation decides to die in a blaze of glory, a bright and brilliant last display of its life. And then there is winter. Cold, and seemingly lifeless. Barren branches, limited hours of sunshine hampered by the bitter cold. As someone from the north, winter is a season that lasts far too long. I love fall, but I dread the season that follows.
I forget that winter is nature’s season of rest. It is a time for creation to be quiet, to renew itself. Under the layers of snow and ice, plants are lying dormant, storing energy for their resurrection in the spring time. They are growing and working, but unseen to the human eye, and at a slow, gentle pace.
People are like that. Every one of us goes through seasons of life, times of joyful growth, blooming fully, and times of harvesting, reaping what we have sown throughout the years. And we have our own winters, times when we draw inwardly, reflecting on the path of our lives, our direction, our growth. Our personal winters can feel as though they last far too long, especially when we aren’t aware of our own need for rest and renewal. We are so good at plugging forward, always going, always doing. And there can be too much darkness in our personal winters. When we are detached from the One who loves us, we are missing out on the necessary Light. We can go through times of feeling unloved, unworthy, and it becomes a season of unrest and dissonance.
But winter can be an opportunity to joy, fulfillment, and a divine peace. Our souls ache for that time of rest, a time to fellowship with our God, a time to just be. If we allow ourselves to embrace this season of renewal and reflection, we can grow deeper roots in connection with our Creator. This time of quiet can be a wonderful time of introspection and a way to nurture our soul. Time spent in the solitude and quiet of a personal winter can lead to great awakenings within the depths of our being. We need to understand the rhythm and flow of the slow and gentle pace of our winter.
I don’t like winter. It can be hard, and bitter, and sometimes brutal. But I understand the necessity of winter, and I welcome each and every one of life’s seasons, because I know that in the fullness of life, each season has its importance, its depth, and it’s growth edge. It is through these times of rest and renewal that I have found what is truly important, truly divine within my own life, and I can seek out the richness and beauty of the season no matter what it may bring.