Part Three of Four…
February starts this week. This winter has been a mild one in my neck of the woods. Very little snow and mild temperatures make many folks exclaiming “What a terrific winter we’re having!” I don’t begrudge the milder winters to those that enjoy them. I do love my snow though! When we have more than our share of winter weather, I’m happily out in it directly after a snowfall, shoveling and scraping and tossing the “white stuff” around!
Some of nature goes “dormant” during the winter while other types of plant life may just conduct photosynthesis at a reduced rate. Animals may hibernate, or only move about sparingly to limit calorie burning. Our winter has been so mild the squirrels have been scampering about much like they do in the autumn. I know for a fact the raccoons are out and about for we finally had to break down and purchase “raccoon proof” trashcans. I’ve seen deer near the creek below our home. So have the dogs:
Foxes stare at us from the bushes and shrubs at night when we take the dogs out for the last time. Animals are busy, busy. The trees and perennials are just – C o N f U s E d.
When I think of winter, however, I think about all the restoration that is taking place. Nature may not LOOK alive, but it is. Many types of life are resting, preparing to get very busy producing new growth or replenishing body fat. Growth spurts cannot happen without winter and the dormant phases many types of life experience. This period of restoration actually prepares and allows this growth.
An old, but favored song about the seasons says it much better than I am able to describe:
Every evening sky, an invitation
To trace the patterned stars
And early in July, a celebration
For freedom that is ours
And I notice You
In children’s games
In those who watch them from the shade
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer
And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and was to come
You are autumn
And everything in time and under heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
And still I notice you
When branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
You are winter
And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring!
In my own life I have periods of “winter”. Frankly and honestly? I have been more dead than alive during specific life seasons. I don’t know if I could even call it “dormant”, but I do know life continued for spring eventually DID come.
Experiencing deafness as an adult and acquiring a balance disorder is never a welcome addition to life. One doesn’t ASK for disability, chronic illness or invisible difficulties. Yet, some of us are asked to walk this road. I wish I could say that I have always accepted what has come with grace, humility, and courage. I cannot.
Depression is an ugly thing. It comes in many forms. Depression also spawns a number of different symptoms and feelings in individuals. For me, it meant I almost lost my life. There were some close calls. Even when I was able to get past the despair, there were days I simply felt numb – going through the motions of being a mother of preteens, working, and barely surviving. It wasn’t until the crisis had passed that I was even able to share with those closest to me what I had gone through and how close I really came to the “end”. Maybe that is why this blog is so important to me and why I open it up to authors of all kinds to tell their story. In 2002, I was reading a lot of things on the Internet. Some of it saved my life.
As I began to learn to cope with everything that was happening and learned to adjust to my worsening hearing and balance, I got a lot of rest. Not even necessarily the poor type of rest that comes with depression. I did begin to slowly heal from the inside out. No (grin). My ears didn’t heal. But I did gain momentum in learning more about HOW to cope with hearing loss and balance issues. I learned to ask questions. I learned what worked for me and what did not. I surrounded myself with people who were ahead of me in the process and along side of me in the journey. Eventually I discovered I could also reach out to those who were still coming to terms themselves with hearing loss. I felt restored.
I want to close this post out with the video (captioned in both English AND Spanish) of “Every Season”. I hope you find as much wisdom in the simple song as I have. If you are experiencing winter as the result of chronic or invisible disability and illness, please write me. I handle all correspondence through this blog confidentially unless you specifically ask me to post your response for some reason. (Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org instead of leaving a comment as these DO become public). Despite my hearing loss I am a good listener. (SMILE) I do not claim to have all the answers, but I have a story, too, and we may share many experiences, frustrations, and successes. I hope (and even pray) that your winter is a time of restoration.
© 2012 Personal Hearing Loss Journal