The Winter Wait

Ahhh, the winter wait.


Waiting in December was fine because it never felt like we were waiting.  We were dashing through the snow and making cocoa and baking everything like we had our own cooking show and our fans depended on us.  The January winter wait wasn't bad either because of the excitement of a New year.  A fresh start.  New beginnings and resolutions.  The only wish was that we could fast forward to March so the gym wouldn't be crowded.  Stupid resolutions.  Don't blame me though, I wasn't there.  During the February winter wait, we fall victim to the Valentine's hype and we either slip into rekindled love and splurge on chocolate and wine or survive the ONE holiday that puts a billboard over your head with a gigantic arrow blinking neon - SINGLE - SINGLE.  February we either celebrate or survive and give the side eye to a rodent basing our next six weeks of weather on a shadow. God help us.

We wait for the sunless, dull days to be bright again.   We wait for frigid winter to be over so we can move onto hopeful spring.  But Mother Nature is a wicked tease and she often lulls us into an early season change with blue skies and chirping birds.  The days seem just a wee bit longer and in the morning we can back out of our driveway to orange pink skies instead the deep navy feeling like it's four a.m..  (If's it dark when I leave, my non-early bird body says it's four a.m.) Seasonal disorder affects many who go undiagnosed and find depression edging its way into otherwise cheerful lives.  We wait for winter to move on so we can focus on the promise of something new revealed after months of dirt, cold and dormancy.

Our sad winter wait makes us hibernate, avoid the cold, and stay inside.  We groan when we reluctantly move the heavy blanket to the side just to go the the bathroom.  We convince ourselves that flannel is the new black.  We wait for an excuse to get up and do something productive, but decide the weather is not fit for man nor beast because we've heard our grandparents say that as they stoked a fire and pulled their sweater closer to their chin because we are ALL living in a Charles Dickens novel.

The winter wait also becomes the winter weight.  I need to lose 19.5 pounds (20 sounds unconvincing) before warmer temperatures force the dreaded season - closet exchange - the cruelest library of fashion on this entire earth.  I WAS comfortable in the dark colors, the bulky, the various forms of camouflage.  My oversized sweaters and lined leggings were my garment friends and now I must turn them in and browse the spring and summer remnants of yesteryear (Yes, yesteryear!) Every season change illicits fashion creativity because Jesus knows that those striped shorts I've had since pre-baby will keep it's undefeated title "She cannot tug, tow, push or pull one thigh into these shorts."  (And the crowd goes wild and turns away in horror at the spectacle.) My baby girl who is now 13 could put both legs in one side....but why would she?  The shorts are tragic and I think the elastic dry rotted.  The shorts died a slow death in the closet with a fluorescent light that hums.

Winter wait or Winter weight - Either way - I want to offer you this tiny bit of encouragement:

Last November, we had a cold snap. Frigid frost and winds burnt the leaves off of one of my favorite plants.  I should have covered its tender, tropical leaves.  I should have dug it up, potted it and set it near a sunny window.  I should have built a greenhouse around it!  (Okay maybe not that.  I'm about as handy with new construction as my dog is with driving.) But you get the point, I should have done more to protect it.  It seemed all was lost and the plant would become join the compost pile.  But without reason or any color of green on my thumb, I hoped against hope when I gave it a planter and scooted it nearer the warm afternoon rays in the kitchen floor. I watered it even though the last of the brown leaves fell into the planter and the stems became brittle husks.  I couldn't bear to throw it away. I had to believe that it was only dormant and life was somehow reconstructing, regenerating below the surface of dirt.  I wanted to believe the shock of the cold had not ruined it forever, even though all signs indicated it was finished. 

New growth on brittle stems. 

New growth on brittle stems. 

This plant became my Winter Wait anthem.  I waited and watered and hoped that the sun and God would bring life back to what I had loved but not cared for.  I needed a second chance to make things right.  And because God is good....and because I was faithful in watering and care....and because some plants are perennial and help me make a great point....We have sprouts.

We need the Winter Wait to appreciate new beginnings.


Seeds to Share:

Song of Songs 2:11-13  

"See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”