Embracing the seasons – even winter



I admit it. I’m afraid of winter, but I love summer. Summer’s just so easy to embrace.

I spent the summer of 2021 in my back yard. I enjoyed the sensation of being barefoot, and I loved gardening out there.

In the mornings, I watched bright yellow rays of the sunrise bounce off the leaves of an enormous tulip tree and saturate the walls of my bedroom.

After dinner, my husband and I walked in our neighborhood. I started observing the magnolias, studying them as they produced fragrant blossoms and then enormous seed pods. They really are royalty among the trees.

I curled up with a book outside on the patio in the evenings, savoring the fading light of the sun.

But during all the glory that was summer, there was the nagging fear; what will I do this winter?

It’s a fear I learned as a young girl.

I remember sitting at a Fourth of July party and hearing an elderly woman say, “Now winter’s coming.” What a statement. Memories of it still chill my heart.

As an adult, I have learned to love autumn, but January scares me. The days are so short. And grey. And quiet.

What can we do?

Of course we know to wear warm socks, prepare hearty foods and spend time with our indoor hobbies. And, at my age, we can purge our homes. Oh my.

But what’s the very best thing we can do?

We can stoke the fires of our faith. Winter’s the perfect time for that.

We can work on our relationship with the Divine.

We know that nurturing a relationship takes time, and it seems there’s plenty of that in the deepest part of winter.

There’s no room for hubris in a really good relationship, and it’s hard to be filled with pride when winter is in control. Perhaps that’s when humility and reverence make the most sense.

As Catholics, we have so many options for prayer because our tradition is so rich. Really, it’s a matter of choosing one and finding the time for it.

Maybe if we embrace the season of winter and its opportunity for growth in our faith, we will be different people when the crocuses emerge in the spring.