January 18, 2016
I don’t understand this season. It’s conflicted.
The winter memories from my childhood that come most easily to mind include the massive snow mountain the plows assembled at the center of Chelsea Court in South Bend and long snowy drives through Michigan to the grandparents’ cabin. The lake effect snow in Holland, Michigan provided ample ammunition for snowball fights and the walls of snow forts.
My kids went out on their Green Machines yesterday. They pedaled around the campus for close to an hour before going back in… not because they were cold, but because they were tired.
It could be 23 degrees in the morning when I leave for work and 60 by mid-afternoon. It will snow on the way home from work and be raining before we go to bed.
It doesn’t seem to be winter in the way that I think of winter. In some ways, it doesn’t seem to be winter at all.
It’s confused. And it’s confusing.
We talk about identity crises all the time, perhaps winter is suffering one of these. Maybe, as a season, it identifies more as a Springy-fall than a cold winter.
We go through similar seasons in our own lives, if we’re honest about it, that is. When the nature of who we are and the idea of who we want to be do not align. We make the choice to live in that incongruence or to do something about it.
In “The Gift of Being Yourself,” David G. Benner writes about conflict of self and it’s uniqueness to humans. He uses the example of tulips. They never struggle with what it means to be a tulip, or debate their purpose in life. They simply are and as such, they are free to be perfectly tulip. We believe that creation exists to bring glory to the creator and the tulip does that without doubt and without regret.
I don’t think winter is suffering from an identity crisis, but I think some of us may be. In the midst of this season’s confusion, maybe we can learn something from a tulip.