To borrow a line from one of my favorite Beatles songs, we had an especially long, cold, lonely winter in the Midwest this year. Seemed like it would never end. One gray day, I stopped by a park and spent some time wishing it was summer.
The park has a rental office that floats in a lake. There are benches along the shoreline that provide soothing places to sit during the summer. On this wintry day, the sharp wind made it too painful to stay outside for very long.
The lake was frozen, and a couple inches of snow had accumulated atop the icy crust. You couldn’t tell where the shoreline began. You’d have to trudge through deep snow to reach the benches. Everything was white and cold. The wind tossed flakes of snow all about. A shiver was the only reasonable response.
On that numbing day, summer seemed so far away, almost like some fairytale too good to be true.
Fast-forward to now.
I went back to the park last week. Only a few months later, everything has changed. The rental office was floating in beautiful, blue water. The bland white on the shore had given way to verdant green. The benches were full of people savoring the moment. A few crickets were warming up for their nightly symphony.
Summer had returned. The world was pulsing with life all over again.
It reminded me how quickly things can change in our lives, how dramatically we can go from feeling cold, lonely and isolated to celebrating the great gift that we are part of something so amazing and so alive.
Things really do change in a hurry.
Summer is always a short time away.
I offer this simple thought for everyone going through a difficult time. All of us do, at different times and in different ways. Life can feel very cold at any given moment. We can feel far removed from others and from life itself. The wind seems to howl through our souls nonstop. Everything feels barren, like we‘re trapped in an endless winter.
Spring and summer? So far away that we can‘t even sniff them.
And yet, even in that moment, the earth is zooming through space on its seasonal rounds, transporting us closer to summer with each second. The snow-covered buds on the trees are stretching and growing, getting ready to embrace a summer breeze. Cracks are forming in the frozen lake.
Another season is always just ahead. We’re on our way there now. It won’t be long before the frozen water turns a beautiful shade of blue. Soon, we’ll be sitting on one of those benches watching the sunset paint the sky in brilliant colors. The crickets will perform their soothing symphony. We’ll close our eyes and enjoy the gentle, caressing wind that was stinging our faces only a few months ago.
We’ll feel fully alive again.
Summer always returns to our lives, no matter how cold we might feel inside at any given moment. Even now, it’s on its way.
Listen. You can hear the crickets warming up to the howl of the wind.