Friday, April 12, 2013
Winter this year mostly looked like this picture. It snowed often, but not enough accumulation to close anything and just enough to eventually grow tedious. Winter gifted this lovely city with wet, cold, and really cold days. While I eagerly anticipated its arrival, I became weary of drying my wheels, wiping wet paws, short days, hats, scarves, coats, and gloves. And just when I thought handling it one more day would drive me to exhaustion, the sun brightly glistened, the crocuses inched through the once frost bitten dirt, and the soft heat of spring warmed my cold bones.
I appreciate the change in mood accompanying each season. Spring is delicate, breezy, and peaceful. It brings hope and rejuvenation. The rain waters the colorful and aromatic flowers and brightens the grass, washing away the winter grayness. Summer sneaks in and I see bare shoulders and smell sunscreen. The pools are filled and steam rises from the blacktop. Fans buzz and long evenings on porches with frosted drinks and endless conversation gleefully fill my neighborhood. And just when I think I can't take the humidity and sticky skin and twice a day showers, fall beckons with its crisp leaves and sweatshirts and football on the lawn. Instead of smelling grills charing summer staples like hot dogs and hamburgers, I smell bonfires and hear the echo of laughter. I see kids and moms rushing to soccer games and the school buses lining the sidewalks. I open the armoire filled with blankets and grab an extra one for my bed. Before long, the sweatshirts are replaced with heavy parkas and hats, the fireplace fires are stronger and more often, and the cool, crisp breeze is replaced with the gusting and howling winds of winter. The cotton percale sheets are switched out with warm flannel and pots of chili simmer on the stove. The evenings are shorter, begging intimate conversation and warm drinks, while watching white snow gently fall on the once green and budding trees. And although I may tire too quickly of extremes, I always welcome each change of pace with open arms.
Honoring and welcoming each season is, yet, another practice of gratitude. While I may prefer the perfection of spring and fall and sometimes loathe the doldrums of winter and the scorching heat of summer, I remember a transformation is just around the corner. Such is life. When life seems so unbearable I think it can't get much worse, I remember to stay positive, grateful, and remember what is just around the corner. Each day, each moment has something new and glorious to offer. And while there are moments I am not fond of, they are always flanked by cherished memories and anticipatory occasions. But mostly, when I let go and learn to swim with the ebbs and flows, learn to relish in the present moment, whatever it may be, and practice a deep appreciation for what is now, I see everything is just as it should be. And if it isn't exactly where I wish it to be, well, the season will soon change.