Seasons, part 2: the good and the hard

Living in the present isn’t easy. In part 1 of my two-part blog series on seasons, I talked about how nostalgia for the past and dreams of the future can become idols if we use them to escape our present. Another way we’re tempted to avoid the present is by writing off seasons as either “good” or “hard” and using that label to justify the way we react to them.

When a season is a “hard season,” we focus on just making it through by looking forward to the next one. When a season is “good,” we dread the day things will inevitably change. When we label them in that way, we are giving ourselves permission to either live in a state of apathy toward our present (“I just need to survive and get through”) or fear of the future (“I don’t want this to end”). Neither is a good place to be.

Seasons were never meant to be purely good or purely bad. Realistically, each season will have a little bit of both. Sometimes more hard than good, and we get to persevere. Sometimes more good than hard, and we get to rejoice. But wishing away our current season doesn’t change the hard parts about it, nor does it prevent future seasons from having hard moments. It only makes us pessimistic and fearful.

If we look at the seasons of the year, we see that it is the combination of the hard and good that make them what they are. Because spring, while filled with warmer weather and flowers, comes with busy schedules and dreaded allergies. And winter, while cozy and filled with holiday cheer, often abounds with sickness, seasonal depression and bittersweet memories for some of lost loved ones. Even summer (my favorite) with beach trips and sunshine comes with its own dose of loneliness and mundane moments.

If we live for a future season where there is all bloom and no pollen, all snow days and no sickness, all sunshine and no boredom, then we will always miss out on experiencing our current season in its fullest. Because it is both the good and the hard that grow us. If we let it, the hard makes us grateful for the good. And conversely, the good gives us strength for the hard. We need to accept both to be fully present in our current season.

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