As much as I'd like to live in a milder climate (and believe me, this year it's at the top of my to-do list), there is something compelling about the weather extremes of the midwest--particularly the transition from winter to spring. For nearly half the year the world seems dead: bare branches, snow-buried grass, gray skies. And every year it feels like we are trapped. Like THIS IS IT. This is the year that winter will go on forever. But the days get longer, the sun gets warmer, the snow melts, the birds sing, and the trees unfurl their leaves. Spring. A miracle.
When life's pattern is smooth, predictable, it becomes easy to take things for granted. But these seasonal transitions remind me that nothing is permanent. Not depression, anxiety, or grief. Not joy, happiness, or peace. These seasons remind me not to cling to what's pleasant or push away what isn't. They invite me to be with what is.
(They also invite me go through old photos and reminisce about summer. I guarantee if Buddha had lived through three polar vortexes, he would have done the same thing.)