Why I Love Winter

Spring has appeared to have sprung in the Midwest – the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the Polar plunge has taken place in Lake Calhoun, runners are out in large numbers (wearing less clothing), snow is melting every day and there are more smiling faces.  The end is near.  Even though the official start of Spring (March 21st) has not started, the very fact that the days are getting longer has caused much more optimism and added a certain “spring” of everyone’s step – including mine.

Spring in the Midwest reminds us that summer is right around the corner and we have endured another winter – leaving that behind us, making it several months before another thought of winter enters the mind.

I must admit that that is exactly one of the reasons I love winter so much – and even moved back just before our winter season began.  It is such a great metaphor for life.

A lot of times I have found that I’ve got to go through a rough “winter” of sorts to get to really enjoy the “spring/summer” times.

I remember how I felt after being injured with foot pain for four years, not sure if I would ever really be able to compete as a high level athlete again.  I was disappointed, almost gave up hope several times and yet didn’t give up.  I was not to be deterred by that “winter” experience.  Then I found my cure after a lot of hard work and searching. 

And after that, the “springtime” experience was becoming an Ironman Triathlete – strong, injury free and fully transformed in mind/body/Spirit.

I remember how I felt after my friend died of leukemia and what a long time it took me to really accept his death and move on.  My “winter” of grieving, loss and missing my friend seemed long.

And after that, I trained for a marathon in his memory, raised money to help find a cure/save lives and crossed many finish lines in his honor.  My “Spring” was about making a difference and carrying his Spirit with me through many events.

I remember my “winter” of having a rough pregnancy and not ever feeling like it would end – the nausea, anxiety/panic attacks, the nightmares, the throwing up, not having much energy .  Then came the ”Spring” (literally) when my son was born on March 31st, 2009.  Life changed forever and seeing his beautiful face made the “winter” was so worth it.

My family is still experiencing a bit of a “winter” with my husband out of work for several months – having no income can cause a strain on everyone.  Yet, as in past experiences, and as Mother Earth has taught us, there will be a “spring” season coming – although not as predictable as the Vernal Equinox, there is not a date we can look forward in knowing when the transition will take place and he will no longer be unemployed.  Winter can’t last forever.

That is why we have hope. 

That is why I love winter.

What “winter” of life may you be experiencing right now?  Has it seemed to last forever?  No matter what the weather may hold – we all have our own seasons of life to grow through – winter, spring, summer, fall. 

I hope you can hold on to this message and know now that your winter will pass and sometime soon the birds will be singing, the sun will shine and the snow will melt (maybe not soon enough in your mind now – trust me, I know how that feels).  We all can use winter as a time to hold tight to that hope that the days will grow longer and soon we might be able to say, “That winter wasn’t as bad as I thought.”  If nothing else, we can be glad it is gone and we may have several months before we get to experience another winter.

Here’s to you and your perseverance through the winters of life. 
May you find encouragement and strength through that journey.

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