Give It Time

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The first day of spring has come and gone, but gray piles of ice from the record-breaking snowfall persist in the yard. Mounds remain, higher than my waist, from clearing the roof and plowing the driveway. It has been a long winter.

I love the snow. Battening down the hatches for a storm is exciting. That first snowfall fills me with delight, and the transformed landscape beckons me to play. Being stuck at home for a few days after a Nor’easter provides a respite from the often frenetic pace of life. Exploring the woods in deep snow brings a chance to inhabit a hushed world for a short time. The bleached scenery causes a shift in my own outlook.

After too many months of cold now, I’ve grown weary of this season. I’m ready to be done with cautious steps down my icy driveway and slow progress on streets narrowed by drifts. I long to put away my flannel sheets and pjs, and bring out lighter versions. Sometimes I rush things, like yesterday when the sun fooled me into thinking I could wear my ballet flats, no socks. I came home chilled to the bone and started a fire.

Transformation takes time. It’s a gradual process that can’t be rushed. Patience can be hard to come by for me. After thirty years in Boston, one would think I might know not to go outside without socks in March without checking the forecast. My eagerness to jump ahead results in unnecessary discomfort. When I’m able to have faith in the process, I suffer less. It is, after all, the same year after year. Spring follows winter without fail, with little variation on the calendar.

Our minds are loaded with well-worn perceptual patterns and habitual reactions that don’t serve us, or others, well. Impatience, negative assumptions and fear-based logic can snowball within us. Believing in the possible transformation of such tendencies is challenging. They seem too strong and solid to ever change. But nothing is completely resistant to transformation. An observation of the end of winter can offer us the faith we need to regenerate even our coldest, darkest selves. Spring is coming.

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