Winter has been long this year, biting deep across much of North America. Where crocuses and snowdrops were bursting and glowing in previous years, now the stubborn mud refuses to give way. It’s affecting everyone at my house – I see us straining to catch a patch of blue sky, a sprout of green in the garden, the smell of spring in a breeze. We haven’t caught much.
While thinking about the spring awakening we long for, I realized that other changes will come with it. We’ll spend more time outdoors, less time reading; more time playing tag, less time playing make-believe; more time picnicking, less time telling stories around the table.
Is spring bad for the imagination?
I’ve decided I don’t think so. Every day is grace, and I’m hoping winter’s heightened awareness will continue with us. If spring takes us away from stories we love, maybe it’s a time to be more aware of our own stories.
If we slow down to treasure the ressurection of daffodils, maybe we’ll find wordless words that describe our deepest longing, for the Great Spring at the end of time.
If we run, and laugh, and muddy our knees, maybe we’ll learn something about the joy of being creatures made from dust, yet beloved.
If I cheerfully help clean muddy footprints without reproach, maybe they will glimpse a shadow of our gracious heavenly Father. He is kind. He is beautiful, and he made a world that begs us to dive in, headfirst and headlong. Spring is coming. If we see it, if we respond, maybe it will help us to imagine Kingdom Come. Maybe we will worship.
I hope so.
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This is great, James, and resonates deeply with me. I look at Spring as the joy and crown of the seasons, an annual parable of New Creation rising from the death of the old creation.
James Witmer says
Thanks, David. We’ll hang in there together. 🙂
Amy L says
Even imagination runs dry by the end of winter. I can’t create any new stories until I’ve had a fresh chance to get out and live a few stories.
James Witmer says
I can relate, Amy!
I’m late coming to this so you may not even read my comment but by way of encouragement as someone whose children are grown, my experience was that all the fall and winter reading feed the imagination, and that when spring and summer arrive, it becomes the food for wonderful outdoor creativity – re-living, re-creating the stories into play – the experience of the stories becomes a child’s own (and if we are lucky we get a peek in). Memories become so much more than a recollection of a story told by another author.
Winter is wonderful but you can happily welcome spring without fear of diminishing was has been read and talked over around the fire.
James Witmer says
Thank you for the encouragement, Judy. I’m glad your experience bears this out! 🙂
margaret otiato says
God is a God of seasons yet unconditional and no respecter of seasons; His grace is sufficient in every season and He knows when exactly to switch the seasons around according to His divine plan which is not limited to time or seasons but is according to His eternal riches in glory.
Winter for me has been a time of consecration which was really extended, meaning God was doing a deep work in us, and was not in a hurry to rush us through it. No wonder the depressing spirits that are rampant then.
We are social beings and we always thrive in the busy-ness of life even though it wastes us away. We always like to see things moving by own efforts, without being confined the way we do get during winter. It kinda gives us control and a sense of being able to predict the next steps which is unlike how faith operates. Winter is the best time to exercise faith when the going gets tough, and seems not to come to a conclusive end! Options seem limited too
Spring comes to reveal the fruit of the deep work/processes that happened during winter! It can be joy and freedom and more peace with a blessed assurance that God is faithful.
The communion is more intimate during the time of consecration, than it is during Spring and as it happens with family members, because there is a sense of uncertainty and need for tangible help, thus we sow more in the hope that a quick harvest will come to change the season and ‘hard’ times.