There are things that we do here in Vermont to get ready.
Ready for spring. Just like with any season. A time of preparation.
Like where will all the snow go when it melts?
Waterbury Reservoir is getting ready. They let out water…to make room for all the melting snow that will soon cascade down from the mountains.
I didn’t know this until I discovered it the other day.
And just like the reservoir, I’m letting things out. Letting them go. Making room for a new season filled with delicate blossoms, abundant growth and the lushness of life.
I’m getting ready for spring too…
I’ve learned a lot this past year. I’ve learned that things break. Like dreams and hopes and hearts.
Here’s the thing…
Things do break, but they come back together. Rearranged and combined in new and beautiful ways.
Like a mosaic. The pieces are what make the masterpiece. And each piece has it’s place. Each piece part of the rich tapestry that is me, that is you. That is all of us.
I am grateful for the breaking so that I could put my pieces back together. My mosaic heart. Stronger than before. Stronger because of it. Stronger because what holds it together now, is faith and grace and love.
Works of art don’t just happen. It is through the breaking and the healing and the putting back together…
Until the pieces all fit…and a mosaic masterpiece is born.
When everything is brand new and fresh.
As I write this, it is 20 degrees below zero. Spring, according to the calendar, is just a few weeks away. Somehow I think it might take a bit longer to arrive here in the north country.
It has been a brutally cold winter. Yet I know it won’t last forever. I also know that inside of me there is hope. Spring will come and we will welcome her with open arms.
I like to think that spring is eternal.
It is within us all. At any time of the year.
At any point in our lives.
Spring can be felt and experienced and shared.
Spring is rebirth, growth, unfolding, opening.
It is hope, faith, optimism, joy.
Spring is alive, vibrant, colorful, rich.
It is earthy, sultry, sweet, delicate.
Spring is so much more than just a season.
It is how life can be lived…eternally
Here in the north country, it’s been cold. Not just cold but brutally cold. Well below zero cold. The cold that you just can’t seem to warm up from. Cold that settles deep in your bones. And it seems there is no end in sight.
Yes there has been an abundance of sunshine.
Yes there has been an abundance of snow.
A perfect winter you think.
But it has also been cold. It is the kind of cold that prevents us from enjoying all that sun and snow.
And it causes a common ailment to occur:
Cabin fever begins with a slight feeling of agitation. Bundling up just to start your car in the morning and it sounds like a dying animal. This then leads to irritation and resentment. Complusively checking the weather forecast and then groaning when you see it. Next comes the glimpse of hope. It’s above zero. You go outside only to run back in because with the wind chill, it’s still below zero.
You feel trapped. You find inside things to do but feel a bit lethargic and unmotivated. You daydream about warmer times and warmer places.
You worship your wood stove and try to find gratitude in the little things…like having a wood stove.
Here in Vermont, we are hearty. We know how to dress for the weather. We know how to survive these cold spells. We have done it countless times before. Yet each year when it arrives again, we forget that we know what to do. We forget to have faith that this too shall pass. Because it always does.
So we do the best we can. We read and write and create and pass the time. We complain to friends and family and strangers and we eat more chocolate…we eat more period.
The weather forecast for this weekend isn’t horrible. 14 above for a high seems almost balmy. Perhaps there will be a chance to get out and play. Perhaps we can alleviate our cabin fever for a few hours. Perhaps…
I’ll let you know on Monday!
As I watch the earth transform from autumn to winter, I know that I transforming too.
The world around me seems to do it so effortlessly. A perfect tempo that the earth dances to as she follows her rhythm and the natural flow of change.
For me, this time of transformation has felt a little shaky and precarious. I have begun this journey of growth and of healing. The path is in front of me, waiting.
But my pace sometimes falters and slows.
There are days where everything seems to fall into place. And life feels full of hope and possibilities.
Yet there are other days when it feels as though I am moving through the fog. Unsure and tentative.
I wonder, why isn’t this easier by now? What keeps bringing me back…to the past? And why do I linger there?
When I know it is the present moment I must step into.
And so I look to nature. I watch as she transforms. And I learn.
“To everything there is a season. And to everything a time. A time to heal, a time to break down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance…”
I am transforming. At my own pace. And like nature, I am following my own rhythm.
November is a month of betweens. It lies between the end of fall and the beginning of winter.
A space and time between. A pause. A period of stillness and waiting. Yet a time of contrasts. Of contradictions and change.
November is always a mystery.
Here in Vermont, we are often surprised in November. Warm southern breezes followed by cold north winds. Sunshine and then…snow. No two days are alike.
I’ve learned to pause too. I’ve learned to change and adapt as the days get shorter and the darkness longer. I’ve learned to be open to November’s surprises and to it’s gifts.
Most of all I’ve learned to be present. To open my eyes and my heart to the gift of today…and to be grateful for the betweens.