My whole life, I’ve always felt that the four seasons I was lucky enough to experience in Maryland had a big impact on who I am. Whether it was summer or winter has a big impact on my attitude, my personality, and even to some degree who I am as a person. Some people, I know, are unaffected by lack of sunlight and don’t mind the winter at all. But I’ve always been quick to notice it’s absence, and quick to welcome the cool rain of early March that means spring is following close behind. Summer is usually a time of working for me, but also a time of traveling, exploring, and having fun enjoying the familiar. It is a chance to recharge and recuperate and prepare to go inside for the winter again. It is the season during which life is actually lived; the winter is a hibernation period of waiting for life to return.

Last summer, everything above was present – work, play, travel, exploration, and fun. It was an unusual experience for me, however, because instead of spending the summer in Maryland, for the first time I was away for the entire summer working on an internship in southwest Michigan. Despite Caleb’s assurances that Michigan summers actually were very warm, the temperature was rarely above 73 degrees – spring weather to me. It was the coldest summer in a long time, everyone said, but to me it was a spring without a summer. When I got back to school in Kentucky in August, the weather was the warmest I had experienced since the summer before. Of course, it was only a little more than a month before fall came, and then winter, and then in January a move to Michigan in the middle of what would become the coldest, snowiest winter in a long time (people say).

It’s March 25th today, and there is still snow on the ground that has been there longer than I have been in MI. I still wear my winter coat everywhere I go. I still don’t know what to expect when I go out to my car to go to work – a dusting of snow, perhaps? a thick frost that is worse because it’s harder to clear off of the windows, maybe? Seats in the car so cold that I don’t want to sit down and an engine so cold that in 10+ minutes the heater barely comes on?

I’m not sure how much this winter has truly affected my personhood, but I have to wonder. Like the trees who have no leaves, the flowers that are absent of buds, and the birds who regret their return and rarely sing, why would I open up, fly, or sing at signs of spring in the earth or those around me if tomorrow the frost might bite again, and the cold might shut me in?

I’m ready for a really good spring that has a nice, blistery summer behind it. I’m ready to live a little more. And thanks to this young lady, I think I might finally be ready to hope for the sunshine I want to badly.

Even the Winter