Redefining Seasons

Almost exactly nine years ago, I held our sweet new baby in my arms, and I rocked her to sleep while I listened to the geese honking outside.

Inside, it was so warm and cozy, snuggling with our baby girl, and outside, the world was alive with all those geese, flying through the crisp fall air.

I had anticipated Anika’s birth so much that fall, and the beginning of her new little life held such excitement, that fall held a completely different meaning and feeling for me.

I wrote last week about how fall is a difficult time for me, and when I think of fall, I think of a drab, ugly brown landscape, of darkness, and depressing, cloudy days.

I think of fall, and I feel as though all joy and life is getting sucked out of me.

And yet, nine years ago in fall, I held all joy and life in my arms. We even called her “Joy” – Anika Elisabeth Joy.

As her birthday approaches, and the geese fill the air once more, I am reminded of how attitude and outlook can make all the difference.

Depending on my outlook, fall can be depressing, or it can be a time of beautiful excitement.

Last week, I was feeling the darkness of fall creeping into me, pulling me down, and yet, when we spent Sunday afternoon exploring, my heart was full of joy and life once more.

Instead of drab browns, I saw golden sun, and warm grasses.

On Monday, when it was cloudy and rainy, we wandered through shops at the Forks, and chatted inside with friends. I was reminded all over again that”light” comes from other sources than just the sun. It can come in the form of connecting with wonderful, warm people.

On Tuesday, Ben hung up Christmas lights, and finished our deck.

We’re caught up in a bunch of projects to quickly finish before winter comes. And suddenly, everywhere I look, I see fall as a Season of Preparation, rather than of a Season of Nothing. The world around me is getting ready, just as we are, and strangely enough, this is giving me…life. My anticipation is growing.

I am anticipating winter. Not just Christmas, but winter.

How odd. I don’t think this has ever happened to me before.

I’ve always thought of winter as far too long, and far too cold.

But now, as I look around me, and see how everything is preparing and anticipating winter, I am seeing winter as a Season of Rest. I think of winter, and I see soft white fields, and snowflakes falling in complete silence.

I have never been as aware of Rest as I am right now.

We left camp because we felt God was calling us to rest. There are so many opportunities and activities with which to fill our calendar, and we are starting to join in with some of these things, but most of the time, I feel something holding me back inside. I still feel the need to keep things simple, stay close to home, and enjoy many quiet evenings on the couch.

I feel myself….I don’t know how to describe it, exactly. Being replenished, maybe. I feel like my insides are drinking up the quiet. I’m a sponge, soaking up rest.

It’s quite wonderful.

A Season of Rest sounds perfect.

We’ll still probably jam in a whole bunch of wonderful things to do in winter, but I also hope to follow nature’s lead, and settle in close for a time of stillness.

I just reread that sentence, and thought it sounded like pure foolishness. Stillness? Heading into the Christmas season in a few months?

But yes. Stillness.

I am learning that feelings in my heart do not have to match the craziness around me. It is possible to take moments to enjoy nature or quiet and calm, in the midst of everything.

My outlook and my attitude can affect the way in which I approach this fall or coming winter.

I can replace Ugly” and Cold” with Anticipation” and Rest”. And maybe it won’t instantly and completely change the ways in which I struggle with seasons, but I believe it is the start of making a difference.

In other words, beauty can be found in everything, if you look hard enough!

Please share! I am so curious to hear what words you use to define fall and winter.