It struck me as odd this morning that we’re starting the fifth day of spring. Here in Chicago, we are still experiencing winter. But, that’s not the strange part; that’s normal.
What I find odd is our preoccupation with the weather and how we connect our feelings to nature’s seasons.
Winter in the Midwest is described as bleak and connected to sadness and depression. And we wait anxiously for spring as if Mother Nature will flip some switch to turn on the sun and our happiness.
The meteorologist on the morning news proclaimed, “Spring is here!” And she pointed to a smiling sun on her digital map. In full grin, she reported the rain mixed with snow I saw out my window.
Yes, spring is here with snow, rain, low and high temperatures, sunshine and the lack of it and with every emotion engaged (Trust me, folks in warm climates experience this too).
Just as this contradiction of connecting our feelings to nature’s seasons affects how we act and react, the same is true on our spiritual journey through the seasons of life. No season is so constant that we will experience only one emotion through it. If we took our emotional cues from our local meteorologist, we would be at the peak of happiness for the next three months.
Yes, spring is here, and along with it, Cyclone Idai that struck Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi last week killing hundreds and devasting the lives of thousands or millions. (Learn how you can help.)
Yet, my daffodils are already peeking through the cold soil in my yard.
Folks are making their transition into eternal life, and we experience great sorrow. Babies are getting into position to make their debut on Earth. And we are overjoyed.
There are feelings of pain that come with violence, then calming peace when we count our blessings at the end of the day.
No matter where we live there are seasons. Whether distinct or blurred, every season, every month, every week, every day calls us to journey down our winding roads of weather conditions and emotions with joy and thanksgiving.
Valora K Starr is director for discipleship for Women of the ELCA.