My plants look tired. The once-green foliage has become yellowed from the demands of growth amidst the heat of the summer. Many of the blooms have gone, leaving only the bare stalks as a reminder of the previous bounty. Even the trees look weary, their spotted and pock-marked leaves dulled before they take on the brilliant hues of autumn.
I always feel a restlessness along with a surge of energy around the changing of the seasons. In my area of the country, each chapter in our trip around the sun overstays its welcome by just a few short weeks. And then it bows out, leaving the door open for the next visitor.
Of all these shifts, the slide into fall is perhaps my favorite. I love the crispness in the air, at first only hinted at through early morning breezes before the heat yet again dominates the day. I delight in those few days where a cold wind rustles the changed leaves, blowing them around like the bills in a money-grabbing booth at a fair, all under the still-warm sun.
I love the turning inward that naturally occurs as the temperatures drop and the days shorten. It’s a season where we cast aside the grand gestures and events of summer for more intimate and cozy affairs. It is a time of open windows with roaring fires. Of goosebumps over still-exposed skin with a warm mug nestled between the hands.
I see fall not as a shutting down, but as a necessary slowing down. A time to exhale the pace of summer and breathe in the richness of the season. It’s a time for gathering and preparing. For taking stock and making plans to survive the winter and celebrate the upcoming spring.
Every season has its blessings.
And that is true in our lives as well.
Divorce often heralds in the onset of a sudden and harsh winter. There is a dearth of shelter and the ice threatens to permanently encase your heart. The nights seem to grow until they touch each other, leaving only the barest glimpse of light between.
But what of the blessings?
From Winter Does Not Have to Mean Discontent:
The end of a marriage reminds me of a winter landscape. All is laid bare. The adornments and filigree are gone, leaving the structure exposed to the biting wind. Its beauty is found in perspective. In appreciating the rough nature of the bark, showing its scars and wear. In gazing at the complexity of the interconnected branches in wonder. In seeing the potential in every limb, every bud. In imagining the new growth, just barely hidden below the surface, that will be revealed by the touch of the warm sun.
The winter of a marriage is also a time for viewing the underneath, what is left when all the distractions are stripped away. It is a time to see yourself, your marriage, as it is, not as it may appear. It is also a time to daydream about what can be and what can grow.
It’s so easy to become impatient with where we are and gaze longingly at where we want to be. There is nothing wrong of dreaming about spring even as winter sets in. Yet peace comes from accepting where you are and recognizing the blessings found within the season you find yourself.
Every season has its blessings.
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