Winter is a lot of work!
Hats and gloves, scarves, boots and jackets have to be donned before one can even leave the house. Vehicles must be serviced with winter tires and safety kits. There is snow to shovel and treacherous roads have to be carefully navigated. Extra time must be allotted for travel. Sporting equipment designed for the weather conditions must be properly prepared before it can be used.
But then spring arrives and there is a new freedom that comes with it. One can head outside without adding extra layers of clothing and just keep on walking. We arrive at our destination in a short period of time without worry about being delayed by weather conditions. Outdoor activities seem so much simpler. We can sit outside for hours, toss a frisbee or just watch a ballgame without fear of frostbite.
Spring also surrounds us with new life. Baby birds chirp from their nests and flower buds are coaxed open by the warm sun. A gentle rain washes away the dust from yesterday. Everything seems bright and cheerful and new. We have a song in our hearts and a smile on our lips.
Life can be a lot like the seasons. There are times, like winter, that are more difficult - when you feel like everything takes so much effort. You are sad and wish that there were sunnier days and fewer obstacles that block the path. Getting to where you want to be takes more time than you had hoped and it is sometimes even difficult to see the destination. Often you feel snowed in, or fogged in or lost.
There don't seem to be many people around to help find the way and that leads to feelings of discouragement and fatigue. Life seems hard and cold and bleak. Survival! One foot in front of another - sometimes not even knowing how we did that much - or will be able to continue.
And then, just when you are ready to give up - spring arrives! The sun shines brightly again for long hours at a time. A warm breeze replaces the cold winter winds. One foot in front of the other becomes long, peaceful walks while enjoying all that surrounds us. We hear the song of the birds and feel the song in our own heart that begins to form again. There is new life to replace the things that were dead and buried in the winter of life.
Don't forget the winter for it has reminded us that we are strong and that we will become stronger and wiser each time it is here! But we can now focus on the freedom that the spring offers.
Spring always follows winter and you can count on good times to follow winter times if you are patient. No matter how difficult things seem to be, if you will just want with expectation, you will soon find that things will get better than they have been.
Take heart - for spring is just around the corner!
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From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker