It’s spring now, and we’ve gotten out our Easter decorations.
The bunnies, chicks, and plastic eggs are fewer these days. The stuffed rabbit that sang about Easter when you pressed a button on his belly is gone. He is probably gracing the living room of some lucky child whose unlucky mama brought him home from the thrift store. We still have plenty to cheer us up while winter hangs out a little longer.
We sprang ahead, giving ourselves an extra hour of daylight to do our outdoor work. Because the air is still frigid there’s not much outdoor work being done here. The patio furniture is still hiding away, the grass still sleeping under its hibernation blanket of a fresh almost-layer of snow, dead leaves and withered, clumpy grass from last summer. The flowers are under there, somewhere.
It may be spring, but it’s still winter.
We are still wearing sweaters and boots, hats and gloves, scarves and socks. All the cheery pastels and chocolate eggs in the world can’t change the temperature and intention of the weather.
We have to wait. We can’t really speed it along. We can unearth our flip-flops and forgo heavy coats for bare arms and legs but we look silly when we can see piles of snow and our teeth chatter from the cold.
We are to be patient. The seasonal cycle has slowed. Cold air doesn’t care about the calendar. My resolve to weather the weather is crumbling. I just want it to be over already. I want to wash up all our winter gear and stuff it in boxes out of sight.
It is the same with other things. We rush our children to grow – why don’t they behave the way we discussed? We wish our spouses would catch up – why doesn’t he listen to me? We want our family members and friends to get with the program already – why are they making the same mistakes?
We consider that they are not learning. They are not doing enough. They are creating their own chaos. They are making our lives more difficult. Why can’t they see it?
We turn our thoughts inward. I am no better than anybody else. I am the same. Why do I continue to spin my wheels? There is room for me to move forward, do something different.
In these minutes, days, weeks, and months of winter’s desert cold, I would do well to remind myself to be patient. To not get ahead of myself, the weather, those around me.
Like the seasons, we all change when we are ready. It might not be convenient; the weather is not always ready for flip-flops and egg hunts and daffodils when we are. Likewise, people shift gears when they are ready.
When we step out in our spring attire too early, we are hit with the cold and are sent inside for more layers of protection. In other cases, getting ahead of ourselves – or others – may be met with a push back, leading to the realization that we are pushing when it isn’t appropriate. Relationships suffer; we grab loved ones’ hands and yell “C’MON!” while they dig in their heels. Sometimes we can motivate them to take action. Sometimes we are better off meeting them where they are and joining them in their stroll.
And when the weather outside doesn't seem to want to change, I will stay in, snuggle into my sweaters and socks, sip my coffee, and be more patient.