“The earth is art, the photographer is only a witness ”
― Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Earth from Above
The change of seasons is a vertical event in the mountains. We can watch the snow-line descend from the peaks, to the hills, to the valley. We can see it coming, yet we are somehow caught by surprise when ice and snow cover our own doorstep. The first snow that stays brings forth Facebook chatter like the queen has suddenly arrived unannounced. Skiers are thrilled, shovellers -not so much. (In these parts some folks complain bitterly about the cold and hazards of walking on ice. Others are giddy at the gleeful possibilities of ice fishing or skiing and being surrounded by pristine blue-white beauty.)
It amuses me that every year is the same; we can see it coming, but we are always caught off guard and need to dig boots and mitts and shovels out of their summer hiding places.
There are spiritual seasons too. We know there are changes in the air; we know there will be times for planting, and harvest, and times for rest. We can see cycles of learning and testing and play, and cycles of birth, growth and death ascending and descending the mountains around us. We need not be surprised, but we do need to be prepared. The day adversity arrives, piled up like blizzard snow against the front door, is not the day to think about buying snow tires, or a shovel.
We need to seek the Lord in the good seasons of our lives as well as the tough times -because knowing that He loves us and holds our future in His hands is the main tool we have to have in an accessible place in our hearts to survive more difficult seasons. (He gives many others as well.) Those who understand that change is a constant can rejoice with every new thing, and when adversity descends like winter, they may even be able to strap on their skiis or grab their sleds and find the joy.