We had snow the other day. Yes, April 18. Snow. Mercifully it melted on the sidewalks, but it stayed on the grass and in the garden for a few hours. Talk about letdown. Even the daffodils, with their usually optimistic faces, drooped.
There’s something about living in the upper Midwest with it’s unpredictable weather and persistent winter that makes us believe (delusionally, perhaps) that we’re hardy souls. One’s soul has be hardy to get through winter with any hope of sanity.
As I looked in the garden, I saw a reflection of life in it, with the snow and spring flowers (hardy souls that they are). Have you ever tried to lose weight, for example, and had astonishing success for a while? It feels so good to drop those pounds and feel free. Tighen the belt. Go down a dress size. Look better, younger. Have more energy.
Then the setback. Perhaps it was a celebration, a rejection, an unexpected expense. “Just one more cookie/ice cream/whatever won’t hurt.” Soon, maybe you’re not back to the original weight but creeping towards it. Those darn pants don’t fit again. The belt has to go back to the bigger notch. Oh what’s the use. I’ll never meet my goal. Spring will never come.
We can take a cue from Mother Nature, at least as she reveals herself to us in Chicago. Just as winter is persistent, spring is, too. You know spring is going to be here eventually, even if it doesn’t feel like it or look like it some (most?) days. Spring’s persistence will wear down winter’s and prepare us for summer.
I recently read that our set backs help us to understand how much we desire to achieve our goals. If spring gave up at the first late April snowflake, we’d all be in trouble. You have a choice, and not just about whether to have that extra slice of pizza. You could be winter, persistently cold, or spring, gradually warming toward the goal of summer. Your soul is probably a lot hardier than you think, and ready to spring from persistent winter set backs toward hope, optimism and new life.
So, which season are you?