It’s January 27th, mid-winter here in the Champlain Valley of Vermont. This time of year we routinely expect sub-zero temperatures, icy wind, snow and darkness. But when I stepped out my front door this morning my first thought was “This feels like spring!” The temperature was in the thirties and the sun felt warm on my face. Instead of snowbanks I saw green grass. And a chorus of songbirds accompanied me as I set out on my daily walk. It didn’t look like winter. It didn’t sound like winter. It didn’t feel like winter. It felt like spring. I broke into a smile and felt my spirit rising with hope. But within an hour the sky grew dark and the wind grew cold. It is still winter. Spring is coming, but it’s not here yet. It isn’t time.

As I walked along this morning I thought about how important it is for me to know what season I am in. Otherwise I can easily get disoriented by daily fluctuations of temperature, wind and precipitation. Sights, sounds and smells can trick me into thinking that I’ve made it through the winter. It takes a contented, peaceful heart and a steady mind to discern the season from the day.

Seasons come and go, but not quickly. Days speed by with their ups and downs, but seasons linger. In each season there is work to be done, work that takes more than a day. There are lessons to learn and growth to experience. Seasons take time and have a purpose. They can’t be rushed.

Each season has its own joys and difficulties. Sometimes in the midst of winter I may have a day, or a moment, that feels like spring. When that occurs, it is lovely. But I need to accept it for the gift that it is, without expectation or a sense of entitlement. If not, I will be disappointed when the chill wind returns tomorrow. Likewise, I may have a wintry day in late spring. But if I know what season I am in, I won’t get discouraged or lose hope. It’s okay to lean toward the next season, or carry an aroma from the last one. But I need to live in the season that I am in. Enjoy it for what it is. And know that it is passing and will come again.

By the way, as I get ready to post this, it has started snowing. But I know what season this is, so I’m not surprised, and I won’t lose heart.

What season are you in? How do you know? Post your thoughts or questions here. Or write me at

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Mid-January Adirondack View

 

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