Yes I once hated winter! The howling wind, the soft freezing snowflakes, the long dark days, and the harsh relentless cold. I froze from September to mid-April. Depression only lifted when the chinooks started to blow. I gained a minimum of 5 pounds + looked like a shriveled up old lady in my 20's from trying to keep myself warm. I lived in the winter sunbelt of Colorado and still couldn't find anything wonderful about winter. One long cold evening walk from work, as I shivered my way down the final street, ice forming on my eyelashes, I made a promise to the god above who was withholding all my joy, to never again complain about winter, to never WHINE again if he would just bring spring back! He kept his part of the bargain with early chinook winds in March and I kept mine. I never complained in fear of retaliation. But it didn't really stop me from hating winter.
I took my frustrations out on autumn. You know those warning months of whats to come ~ splendor that hides the truth! Depression crept into my life each Labor Day. I began squirreling away sweaters, marshmallows, & heavy socks. The thought of overcoats on top of Halloween costumes scared the beejesus out of me. But I never complained once about winter. NEVER!
For some reason newly acquired friend I was to discover was in love with autumn or fall as we say here in the West. I listened aghast as she delighted in all the changes occurring. Finally summoning my courage I asked her why she loved fall and not my favorites spring or summer. I stood stunned as she regaled fall's attributes and slammed my beloved twins (well cousins) spring + summer. I scoffed at her and secretly went home to contemplate her words.
Finally years later I understood the why and how of Earth's seasons. Clarity shined on the deeper truth in my vow of No Whining. Something that had completely escaped me for decades. I felt and understood my friends love for autumn and the beauty it held. She opened my eyes to something deeper than just the leaves changing, the scent of wood burning, the harvesting of the summers bounty. I discovered the wisdom in all the seasons, not just my beloved spring + summer.
The true test was could I find that same love in the long dark drawwwwn out months of winter? Could I welcome winter with the same zest I welcomed spring? Was I willing to really let the truth, the soul truth, strike open my heart for winter? It took time. Yet I finally let winter show me her splendor and wisdom.
No, I don't rush to the ski slopes each year, those days are long past. I don't frolic in the deep snow and dream of sipping hot cocoa. I do listen quietly as the bitter cold moves into the land. I watch as the birds battle against the harsh wind and wonder about the symbology. I delight in the blast of frozen air each time I open the door, gasping in surprise. Bundled up in layers I walk daily returning to shelter with a glimpse of new knowledge of my world + me.
I have come to realize that I make my experiences great or small. It is my ability to accept myself leading me to accepting my outside world that brings joy or peace. Don't get me wrong I still shiver for 5 months out of the year but I don't harbor resentment towards Winter. Nature's personalities are but reflections of the world she watches over. Storms rage to bring us deeper into ourselves and show us where we may be stuck whining and not changing. Sun shines welcoming us to open to who we are. Rain nourishes the land reminding us to take time to nourish our world, our soul. Drought reminds us that often what we love can be lost. There is so much symbolic expression in our seasons. Just like each season there isn't a one-size fits all explanation for the messages being delivered.
I still don't complain about winter. I promised 40 years ago and I don't break my promises. Each season brings with it very different expressions. Just like the barometer tells us the changes in weather, how I respond tells me where I am in my heart.
Look deep into all our amazing seasons. Find the message hidden in plain sight for you. Welcome that message into your home, give it a cuppa, and hear the words. Wisdom isn't always hidden, it is only waiting for us to see with plain eyes.
Traveling on xoxo
The Soul Traveler