Being Grateful for All Winter Has Taught

Elle and I met a friend at the Botanic Gardens on Monday. The weather was chilly but warmed up after about an hour. Most of the plants were still dormant and the staff had just conducted a controlled burn in the wild grasslands section so everything was brown and dry. We spotted a few fish in the pond, though nothing like the swarms we see in the

debby-hudson-574253-unsplash
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

warmer months. But as we walked, we saw signs of spring: Crocus and wild iris have started pushing through the brown. A small daffodil bloomed near the cacti and succulents building.

My friend and I talked about how the gardens are lovely to visit, even on these bare almost-spring days. There’s something so peaceful about this space of cultivated nature right in the middle of the city.

It’s a reminder, too, not to wish for spring too quickly. Before we know it, blossoms will be everywhere and we’ll experience the open-window weather followed by a blizzard that springtime in Colorado offers. I love spring, I do. I love having the fountain running and barefoot girls dashing about. I love sipping rosé and eating runny cheese outside.

But I’m also learning not to wish away winter. There’s something so hopeful in the barren landscape. When I walk around our yard on warm days, I imagine the potential that spring and summer bring. We have a lot of perennial plants I’m looking forward to revisiting and I’m thinking about the annuals we’ll put in pots.

I want to savor this anticipation and remember that, without the dry winter weather and brown landscape, spring wouldn’t carry the same magic that it does.

I’m learning to look at my own life for these almost-spring experiences. What needs to be dormant, just a bit longer before it can blossom? What do I need to give time to rest and restore before it bears fruit? How can I appreciate the dry landscape and pause to anticipate before I get my hands dirty with actual planting?

I love looking back in reflection. Connecting the dots over a variety of experiences can be so life-giving. But I’m also learning to pause in the midst. To take time to breathe, reflect, and be still before moving on to greener seasons. I’m hoping that, by practicing a love for almost-spring, I’ll cultivate a pace of recognizing signposts at the moment instead of hindsight.

I’m still looking forward to spring – to open windows and consistently sunny days. To meals outside and daily check-ins with neighbors as we live out front. But I’m also loving these last three weeks of March before spring officially arrives when I can breathe in this change and remember to be grateful for all that winter has taught me.

Are you anticipating spring? How do you prepare for a new season?

6 thoughts on “Being Grateful for All Winter Has Taught

  1. I am looking forward to Spring Annie – and the fact that I will no longer have to wear a winter coat and heavy boots. Winter here is too long and by mid-March everyone is tired of it. There are moments, though, when I do enjoy the winter though and take pleasure in the snow-covered ground and the crisp air.

    1. Yes! I do love just throwing on a sweater instead of bundling everyone!! Elle is very much anti-shoes and coats and it’s nice not feeling like I have to fight her clothing choices as much. (Still keep a stash in the car…) 😉

  2. I always look forward to spring. Winter is not a good season for me mentally, so I dread it every year. Hopefully next year will be a better experience. I’m enjoying these almost-spring days too, but I know to look out for the spring snows.

    1. I think you’ll miss the spring blossoms here. They’re pretty but not as abundant as the south. But, in the midst of those spring blizzards, they feel special. 😉

  3. Living in an area with no visible signs of spring I’ve always wondered what we might be missing in a deeper sense. Nature is such a beautiful metaphor for spiritual connection.

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