Ask most people in the upper mid-west how they feel about winter and they will say they hate it. When you ask them why they don't move south the response is usually because they enjoy the changing of the seasons. In the north the changing of seasons can often be dramatic. One day you are adjusting the air conditioning and the next the fireplace must be lit. One day you are wearing short sleeves and the next a sweatshirt. In fact sometimes this can happen all in a days time. Heater by morning and air conditioning by night. That is how it is in the mid-west and that is what I love about it. I love dramatic weather changes. I love thunderstorms in summer and blizzards in winter. I love a warm spring rain and I love the fragrance of autumn and the crunching of leaves under foot. I love the change of seasons as they pertain to nature. There is only one season I don't really enjoy and that is the middle of summer when the heat and humidity are on. As my husband puts it, we are all entitled to complain about one season. And since nobody really complains about spring or fall, he has chosen winter to be his nemesis and I, summer.
Nature's seasons come and go every year and with some predictability. We complain as much as we celebrate their passing. If we didn't have the changing of seasons, I'm convinced that many awkward silences would never be broken. But what about the seasons of friendship?
I left Iowa three years ago, which for me was as dramatic as going from summer directly into winter without the transition of fall. I had lived there for over forty years. I have friends and family and the entire history of my livelihood in Iowa. But I also knew much sorrow and pain associated with my life in Iowa. When I moved to Kansas City with my husband Mike, I was scared and if you can imagine me as timid, I was a little bit of that too. I didn't know anyone here and it seemed that every time I left home alone I would get lost in the city and have to turn around. I was fired from my first job here just a few months after I started simply because they didn't like me. With my confidence and cheerful spirit shaken, I knew that it would all be brought back in perspective when Mike would return home each day. He was and is what I needed to keep things in perspective. This season in my life felt like the bitterness of winter and the heat of summer colliding, with potential to shatter what resilience still remained inside. As difficult as that time in my life was, it was only a season; a season for which I am thankful.
If I had not moved, I may have never crossed paths with some very dear people who I can proudly call friends today. I may have always wondered what it would be like to live somewhere else. This change in seasons has been a wonderful opportunity for growth. After all, isn't it true that much of nature couldn't grow without the changing of seasons?
I needed a change in seasons to grow beyond what I could see as my potential, and there are people in my life who are experiencing the same thing today. I hope that in the same way that Mike and my new friends and family in Kansas City have helped me to grow, that I will be supportive of changing seasons in the life of my friends.
I'm not sure that this made much sense today and maybe it was written for myself, perhaps belonging in my journal. But, somewhere out there is a person whose life is changing course and maybe you can be encouraged knowing that this is just a season and on the other side is a beautiful new tomorrow.
Blessings as you go,