It's been a while since I've really experienced seasons, since South Carolina's seasons are mostly just categorized as "hot" and "hotter". Gorgeous azaleas bursting into bloom and a thick layer of green pollen coating every outdoor thing mark spring, the lovebug swarms announce the arrival of summer just before the even more sweltering days make their appearance, and the marshes turn a certain shade of green that I'll always remember as the temperature drops just a tad when autumn comes along. Winter means not sweating when you dare to wear jeans-and maybe occasionally a jacket can be added to your outfit.
While our area of Washington is really rather temperate, it's seasons are far more distinctive. I suppose that may be the reason why I've spent much of this winter reflecting on the seasons and how they reflect the seasons that our spirits experience. That they need.Spring is such a bright time, lively in every way, new and fresh and clean. It mellows out to the sweetness of summer where you want to soak up each moment. And when the weather begins to turn crisp, the trees blaze out in a flame of glorious color. There's an energy in the air when the fall days begin...and then slowly, the leaves begin to brown and then drop to the ground, leaving their branches bare. Compared to the warmth, the bright, the color, winter can feel so dead and dreary...and limiting. You can feel shut in, shut off. But it's a necessary thing. Those bare trees, the grasses and flowers, they are all quietly waiting, drawing strength, growing and preparing for all that lies ahead.
With our second winter in Washington drawing to a close, these thoughts have been lingering in my mind. The first is from a book I read recently, that Jesus is the Lord of the fast as well as the feast. We need both, however nice it may feel just to bask in the glorious feasting. And the second, straight from the Bible.
"...In quietness and trust is your strength..."-Isaiah 30:15