I’m quite a big fan of weather.
It’s not the coolest thing. But I love huge variations in weather, from blisteringly hot summer days to bitingly cold winter nights. There’s something about the ever-changing nature of the weather which I find intriguing.
With that in mind, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about seasons – both seasons of weather and seasons of life.
In nature, seasons are part of the intrinsic cycle of life. Spring offers new life and green shoots, which bloom and flourish in summer. Autumn heralds the beginning of the end of this time of colour, whilst winter superficially seems dead but nests next spring’s hope underneath its cold blanket.
This cycle comes and goes each year. There are variations, yes, but the overall cycle is the same. Without fail.
I think the same is true of our lives. I don’t know whether we follow the same set pattern that nature does. I think it’s probably not quite as structured and planned as that.
But our lives go in seasons. There are times when we are full of hope and expectation, when there are new beginnings and opportunities. These times often turn into summer seasons, when we flourish and grow.
Then there are autumn times, when it can feel as if nothing is happening and we are treading water. During autumn, it can feel a little as if the good things are dying off, as if we are losing them. Autumn invariably leads to winter, where we find ourselves hopeless, lost and without direction.
A life of seasons.
Ideally, we’d be able to lose the winter season, make the spring and autumn shorter and spend most of our time in the summer. Ideally. But in the same way that nature would not be able to survive on just one season alone, the same is true with us.
The seasons all have a value, all have a purpose. Even if sometimes, that purpose can be painful. The winter season can be long and bleak. But it teaches us to trust, to remember that spring and summer will come, and to rely on the roots we have grown in the warm seasons.
Seasons come and go, but God’s love never once falters or fails, never lessens or becomes conditional. Despite the seasons, God’s love runs through them all.
That promise is what we root ourselves in.
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” Lewis Carroll