Searching for hope, I checked my weather app. With the month of March a day away, I was certain I’d see some good news.
Our Midwestern winter seems endless. The average temperature for the past week is typically 42, but instead is was mostly 4s and 2s, sometimes below zero. The first heavy snow of the season that closed schools brought smiles, sledding, and Instagram photos of snowpeople. The most recent brought traffic jams, multiple cancellations of meaningful events, and many an aching back from ceaseless shoveling.
I was seeking some solace in a future forecast of sunshine. Instead I saw that it would be two more weeks before the temperature would rise above freezing.
With the news filled with stories that stoke controversy between conservatives and progressives and potentially anyone in between, talking about the weather takes a meteoric rise in popularity. Apologies for tardiness as immediately accepted as everyone is coping despite their crankiness.
“Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it” we joke. A few give earnest effort to deal with it well. My friend Holly hosts a Mardi Gras party tomorrow night. Katy volunteers to shovel her neighbor’s driveway. Gretchen dons her Wisconsin winter wardrobe and goes for a walk in the snow despite it all.
I do my best to shift my focus from the gray skies and bitter cold as my little silver convertible sits stuck on the icy lot. I light more candles. I burn more incense. I start to remember.
Winters come in many forms. The spring that unexpected debt buried me like a pile of dirty snow. The summer my husband didn’t know if wanted to be married to me. The autumn my youngest child left for college at 15.
I turned my calendar to the next month and the image of Alfonse Mucha’s Spring appeared. Despite the dreary forecast, in ink I saw First Day of Spring on a date three weeks away. I chose to believe.
I began to envision the pansies I would purchase for the pot at my front door. The pigeon who would roost on her egg in my window box before I have a chance to plant my petunias. The purple crocus that is waiting to pop her pretty head up after such a long sleep under the snow.
Then I remember. That mountain of debt is now paid. That husband and I went on to have another happy decade together. That child is now grown yet ever so close to me.
My memories of the past and my picture of the future remind me. Everything is impermanent. This seemingly endless winter, like all others, will come to a close. I found the hope I had I failed to find on my phone.
One of the sweetest springs of all time is soon to arrive.
- How do you cope with a difficult season?
- What challenging season have you survived?
- What gives you hope?