Silver Linings

I wrote this last winter but I couldn’t bear to post one more piece about snow. Winter had been too long and too deep.

Summer always brings a day, usually in August, when I step outdoors and know that I will again be ready for snow. This is not that day. This strangely cool summer may not even give me one, but winter is long enough past to allow the enjoyment of its memory.

Flakes were flying when I arrived at the orthodontist. Both ground and sky were clear twenty minutes later when I walked out of the office and into the nearby Panera. After just a few minutes of quiet reading, I looked up to discover that everything – the parking lot, the cars, and the trees – were coated with snow. Within a moment I packed and headed to my vehicle, and in the few feet between it and the restaurant found myself covered with the same slippery snow that clung to the road.

The swirling squall delivered a blizzard’s whiteout to the streets of Des Moines, so I sought refuge in another Panera. I had books and pens and my iPad, which would usually be enough to keep me occupied for days, but a cold booth and a bagel are poor substitutes for home and the white chicken chilli that my daughter was so excited to make for our family’s dinner.

From a seat chosen for its view, I watched the huge flakes pelt the earth and I understood. For the first time, I knew that regardless of its beauty and wonder, I had to set aside my romantic notions and admit that I’ve been wrong. Snow is not always welcome.

The concept of seasons has wound around and in and out of my mind for the past thirteen years and wedged like a stone in my soul last autumn. A surprise snow, an unexpected blizzard, delivered a new perspective: Even a season’s silver linings are sometimes hard to bear.

How about you? Does your current season have silver linings? Are any of them hard to bear?


Sharing Silver Linings with KelliHolley and Lyli.

12 thoughts on “Silver Linings

  1. ambercadenas says:

    Oh yes. I understand this well, this concept of seasons winding in and around and lodging deep in the heart. You write this tension so beautifully. In this ‘season’ of my life, I find transitions between actual seasons to bring up some kind of unspoken sorrow. Something about the deep desire to embrace what is right now, pulled by the grief of what has not been, and how quickly the time is passing by. I always resonate with and appreciate other writer’s words on this in their own lives.

    • Natalie says:

      Unspoken sorrow. Yes. It’s often there. I experience it with the arrival of the cicadas at the end of summer and so many little ways in the seasons of my life. Thanks for sharing here today and for your kind and encouraging words.

  2. Beth Hess says:

    God has been teaching me through the seasons, too. (Thus, the “logo” on my page with a tree throughout the year and my tagline, “learning to love my life in every season) And I think you’re right that every season gives us a taste of another one from time to time — a cool day in August, a warm one in March. Because God is big enough to work outside the laws of nature and do as he pleases in every season. This brings me much hope — both that I can enjoy the gifts of the current season but also that God can bring gifts from any where at any time.

  3. Lisa notes... says:

    I love summer, even though I occasionally complain about how hot it is. What I don’t like is that the days are already getting noticeably shorter, reminding me that winter is again on the way. (I wish I didn’t think so far ahead, ha). Trying to enjoy the day I’m in!

  4. Shelly Miller says:

    I’m hoping for the silver lining Natalie. You are the second person I’ve read this morning who is enjoying the last days of summer while at the same time preparing for the winter ahead. It is the constant wrestling isn’t it? Until we reach heaven.

    • Natalie says:

      You are, aren’t you Shelly? Finding the good in the hard time–especially the hard times of waiting and trusting–requires much of our faith. Faith is active. Wrestling? Yes. Absolutely. Take heart, my friend. He sees you.

  5. sarahgirl3 says:

    I think I was in a season of waiting for several years and now something new is starting. It feels like walking outside after a long winter and seeing green finally. 🙂

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