I recently moved.
I moved into this beautiful post-World War 2 home. Much of this home has been renovated, it still has the amazing character that it was built with, but the bathroom seems to have remained untouched. You see it’s blue. When I say it’s blue, I mean, its BLUE. The tile is blue and white, the toilet is blue, the sink is blue, and the tub is blue. Honestly, it was the blue bathroom and the beautiful arch going into the dining room that sold me on this home (and the fact that I get to have a room dedicated to my books- thank you Beauty and the Beast for giving me the dream of having a Library in my home). I rented it in early July and moved in the middle of July. It has taken me a month to find the right shower curtain for this very blue bathroom, but finally...
I found it. It is an image of a tree, and all around the tree, you find a colorful representation of each season. Tonight, as I got ready for bed and washed my face, I couldn’t help but just look at this tree, and the seasons that are represented, and I felt like the tree.
A friend of mine has a favorite phrase, “this is just a season, it won’t always be like this.” And while I hate it when she uses that phrase because she is usually saying, “I know it’s hard, but you will get through this, I promise,” she is also saying, “I know it’s hard. But you will get through this, I promise.”
I have had many seasons in my life so far, seasons where I was in school, seasons where I was tired, seasons where I have been heartbroken, seasons where the beauty of new beginnings was exciting and on the horizon. As I looked at this tree, the question came to my mind, “what season are you in?”
If you were to ask anyone that knows me, my favorite season is Winter. There is a calm that comes over me as the weather gets cold and the clouds seem to be around a lot more, and the sunshine seems to be hidden. Oddly enough, that is when I am at my best. I love the cold. I love the gloomy weather. I love the smell of the possibility of snow. With that being said, as I looked at this tree, I found that the tree is most vulnerable, in the midst of the winter. It has no leaves to protect it, and it seems that it’s just saying “here I am, every visible part of me, I have nothing to hide, and I have nothing to hide the parts that I don’t like. This is me.” So, my answer to the question was, I find myself feeling like the tree in the midst of winter.
Over the past several months, I have been going pretty non-stop, often not even taking the time to notice the trees outside and the changes that have been happening, and August just came out of nowhere. The seasons went from Winter to Spring, to Summer (my least favorite sort of weather), almost not even noticing,
but now… I notice.
I not only notice that the literal seasons have changed, but I also notice the seasons of my life, that are changing. The leaves that are turning, the people who come and go. The joy that I am finding, and the loss that I am experiencing. Change is hard. Change is good. Change is inevitable.
As I sit here now, in the midst of the summer, I long for winter. I long for the cold. I long for the promise of snow. I don’t always long to be vulnerable, nor do I long for my life to always be in a state of change. But thankfully, in this moment, winter teaches me, that vulnerability is a gift. And being able to say, “This is all of me. You can take me for what I am, and I am enough.” That is a gift as well. But it also reminds me that with every change in season something new grows, and sometimes it dies, but then soon enough it will grow again, maybe in ways that you never could have seen coming.
I anticipate that moment when the leaves begin to turn, but while I wait, I will be thankful for the season that I am moving through and the lessons I have learned and I am excited about the season and the changes to come.
Come on Winter! Come a little sooner than everyone expects, surprise us, invite us into your gloomy clouds and cold air… I will sure be glad to see you and thank you for the reminder of the gift that only winter when everything else is stripped away, offers us.