My mother always talked about the winter it snowed every Thursday. She compared every winter to that winter. Now I wonder if that winter had more meaning for her than just snow every Thursday. This winter may be one that becomes the measure against which all future winters will be compared. Perhaps like my mother, this winter has meaning for me beyond frequent snows. As I reflect on the events of the past few months, I realize that I need to focus more on this moment in the journey.
Last fall, I let everyone know that I really wanted a blizzard this winter. My December was going to be packed with Christmas, my baby Jill’s wedding (How was that possible?), and my 6th grandbaby (Yes, 6th!). All good things, but all in 2 weeks? I felt that in January I deserved a blizzard for a much needed rest. We got the snow. I got some rest, but I also got the stomach flu–several days of it, in fact. In all the wedding preparations, I didn’t have time to realize how much it would stretch my heartstrings to give my daughter to her husband, no matter that he’s adorable and a very good person.
When I returned to school after wedding, baby, and holiday celebrations, I found we had had a flood from the ceiling in the bookroom. I had to face sorting damaged books, mold, and filling out reports for insurance. What a mess. Then more snow.
In February, I nearly lost my older daughter to Dengue Fever which she contracted from a mosquito bite while serving in Honduras with a group of doctors and nurses on a surgical mission. It seemed so unfair for her to get so sick while trying to do good in this world. Then more snow.
I was getting discouraged because it seemed we were never in school enough days in a row to be able to see measurable progress with students. Start and stop. “Where was I? What day is it? The test is when?” Then more snow.
My energy has been very low this winter. Hibernation seemed like the best alternative, though not possible. In looking back, I realize that a blizzard wasn’t the answer to the replenishing my spirit needed. Snow days didn’t fill my cup.
Today, however, I took a walk outside. The crocuses, snowdrops, and daffodils were blooming. The willow branches were slightly yellow green. They say more snow Tuesday. I don’t really care anymore.
In Chinese medicine this season is described as the time when water gives way to wood. Wood (all vegetation) must work very hard to push against water – to put down new roots, to shoot up new stalks, to open buds, and to leaf. I have to push hard for my spirit to blossom, too.