A Stillness Between Seasons

There is a sweet stillness between the cold of winter’s breath and the inviting warmth of spring’s renewal. It is the pause before we inhale fully the scent of fresh grass and the fragrant trace of a newly budded flower. Winter in its cold fury only emphasizes spring’s layers of soft textures and colors. The earth is startling in this amazing transformation, a change that infuses our hearts with strength, hope and optimism. And this cycle presents us all with the chance for renewal; this seasonal change invites us to blossom and invest ourselves with the spirit of growth.

Although winter has its joys, it always seemed to me a period of insulation and waiting. I’ve stood on a mountain top covered in deep snow and felt the thrill of cold, tingling air filling my lungs and the white earth’s cover so bright and endless to the eye. The stillness of the cold air, the pristine untouched snow, and the quickly moving white clouds above— it was a wonder to behold. Yet, to me, it was but a moment in time, a torrent of feelings captured in a teacup of memory.

Spring seems to lengthen one’s memory; it lays out a path of welcome and warmth; of endless opportunities of color, touch and smell. It is the season of rebirth for mind, spirit and body. In winter, our earth can present a harsh tenancy, but in spring it presents a gift for our senses.

Is it not any less for the human species, especially for the seniors amongst us? We are constantly told that as seniors we are entering the winter of our lives. The analogy is obvious—our days of growth and rebirth are over. The spring of our youth gave way long ago to summer’s maturation and fall’s change of heart. We have entered winter, a season of slow decline and of inevitable loss; a season where the hues, fabric and patterns quilted over a lifetime turn to colorless decay.

We all recognize that life does end; that we all have an appointment with our last breath; and that, as humans, we are only allotted a finite period on this green planet. Yet, it need not be winter’s cold breath that defines the last phase of our lives. This winter of decline should in fact be celebrated as a spring of renewal, of confronted challenges and of accomplished goals.

On a daily basis I am involved with seniors who dramatically recall the flowers of their springtime years and reinstate those floral smells and patterns into their senior activities of daily life. They know winter’s chill will inevitably arrive, but that time is not now. They live in the moment and are constantly invigorated by life’s challenges. They will not go meekly into winter’s cold embrace. They utilize their allotted time to grow, to learn, to develop strength, to study, to become wiser and to inhale deeply the fresh scents emanating from their newly cultivated flowers. The grass beneath their feet is green and lush. It gives a spring to their step and a joy to their movement. Spring offers them an opportunity to live and grow; winter for them can be delayed.

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