We are in the middle of a great thaw in the Savage North. Temperatures are reaching records for February. To be honest it feels pretty great, mostly because we know winter returns next week. There will still be a chance to ski and sled once more.
As a writer I know all about the pause in the middle of a tense scene. You need to give the reader a break, let them catch a breath. You do this with backstory or some reflection. Winter does this with warm temperatures and some sunshine. It is amazing to me how much of life mirrors nature.
Because of its length, winter always needs a break in the Savage North. Six months of cold and snow gets long. Add the illness of little ones and I have been known feel pretty isolated and alone in the months of January and February. I joked about the hopelessness I felt in college on groundhogs day (What Do Ground Hogs And Robert Frost Have To Do with Courage?), but the reality is winter can bring about melancholy most years when days are short and cold abounds.
So as the light shines in and the temperatures warm, everything again seems possible. There is a return to hope. As little bits of green peak out from the earth in my garden and the purple finch lands on my tree, I am reminded this season does not last forever.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)
I can be thankful for the gifts of the winter season. Winter is a time for rest and reflection. Winter is the time to spend time with my family and friends. Winter is the time to cook big meals with bold flavors. All of this is good before the busy spring and summer seasons begin.
So as the snow melts and the smells of grilled meat fill the air for just a few nights, I welcome the break from winter’s kiss. I celebrate the possibilities of spring before me in a new house and a new town. Then a smile forms on my face as I look forward to the snow forecast for the next week. I am grateful for the perspective this pause on winter has instilled in me, for now I am ready to see the beauty in snow once again.