discovering hope in the cold

What is your favorite season? I am always curious to hear what people have to say in response to that question. To me it is so obvious that spring is the best season of all. The sun is warm but not hot, the land is waking up out of the slumber of winter, leaves are turning green again, the hours of light are increasing, and the air holds the aroma of hope and potential and that is why I love it so.

But some people love winter. Perhaps you are one of them. It seems a little bizarre to me, but then again, I choose to live in San Diego where it can be argued there is no winter.

Even in San Diego, my winters are a constant attempt to get warm. I have a bag of rice that I heat in the microwave at night to snuggle my toes against. I shake my fist at the sky when it pours rain during school drop off or pick up. I have even begun to dress as strategically as possible with my under shirts and scarves and socks and boots and jackets and it seems like such a bother. I hate to be cold.

So of course I wonder why anyone would like winter. But lately I have been thinking metaphorically about seasons, and I am beginning to have a new respect for the winters of my life.

I am hoping against all hope that the snow is melting and light is over taking dark at the end of what seems like a much too long season of winter for me and my family. A few years ago I incurred a trauma that lead me to deal with some nice items of baggage I had collected in my journey through life. That took its toll on our little family of five.

We made it through that just in time to have the economy and some investments catch up to us, thus giving my husband his turn with the bags he has collected along his way through life. Add to that my oldest son starting middle school, throwing our family dynamic on its ear and leaving us groping around in search of a new normal.

And it has felt very dark. But just in the last few days I have seen some glimmers of hope that spring will in fact come and bring life to my weary soul once again. And I just want to stand in front of that rising ball of light and weep with exhaustion from enduring such a lengthy time in the cold.

Winter Snow - Landscape

I realize with this dawning hope that we are making it through this difficult season. And our family will be stronger for it. We will be deeper. More bonded for having weathered the storms of a bad winter together.

Things happen under that mysterious layer of cold. Often I can’t see what it is until the snow melts, but I am beginning to realize that the season of winter has depth, beauty, and value all its own. Even if it means months of cold feet.

What beauty do you find in winter?


11 thoughts on “discovering hope in the cold

  1. I like the contrast that I can create inside -that while it is cold outside, I can snuggle under a blanket and light my candles and give myself permission to do something for myself when because of the environment, it seems wrong to be putting myslf out there! And I like that I appreciate the summer more for having been made aware of the possible alternative winter is….

  2. Shawn Wisley says:

    I think for me right now, the thought of winter makes me think of circumstances that FORCE us to slow down, to stay inside, and the rest. If we don’t take these extra precautions, we put ourselves in danger. Sure, winter CAN be beautiful, but only when we’ve got the right perspective/protection. Oh, and of course the fact that it’s necessary…not a punishment.

    • itsakoolife says:

      Love that about the perspective, protection, and not a punishment. I think you know a little something about forced slowing lately. So glad you are getting to move around more now. Thank you for sharing, Shawn!

  3. This is beautiful. My favorite season is not really a season at all (alright, that’s nonsense, but bear with me). I like those first few days of a new season, any season. I like the way the scent of the air literally changes and you can step outside and breathe deeply and think “spring” (or summer, winter, fall). I like the new beginning it presents, as I think you’ve stated here. I like the way each one brings meaning to the others. Cold becomes warm becomes cold, just like life. Really lovely post, Rebecca. It left me sighing more than once. xox

    • itsakoolife says:

      Thank you, Francesca! That means so much to me and yes, I am also fond of the change of season and the way you can sense it coming from the way the air feels and smells. Your post today was AMAZING!!! As for your circus post, if you ever want to come and visit San Diego some time, you are more than welcome to stay with our own little circus family of five!

  4. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Summer is definitely my favourite season as I love love love the warmth, the sweating, not wearing many clothes. It’s just great.

    But yes, winter has a beauty truly all of its own.

  5. kelly says:

    i, like you, have grown to appreciate all the seasons. in ayurveda, each season is very significant, and eating certain foods, practicing certain yoga postures/movements are key to embracing seasons. winter is very kapha: heavy, slow, homebody, a bit melancholy. some people are kapha dominant, too (i am not; i am pita: fiery, dominant, controlled). during this winter, i challenged myself to practice yoga with warmth in mind: twisting and compressing myself, even when i want to hide away in child’s pose. but, sometimes, when i want to embrace my cave, i will slow down, move slowly, meditate and see what lies beneath all that heaviness. it’s SO fascinating to me.

    all that said, i like summer. baseball is in full swing 🙂

  6. itsakoolife says:

    Kelly – this is AWESOME!!! Love all that depth (TOTALLY want you to give me a personal tutorial on yoga – one and a half more years and all three will be in school everyday – hope you are still teaching then!) followed by the adorably light ending!!! You are so fun.

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