In the Midst of Winter, I am in Spring

Angie Warren // Writer

In the midst of winter, I am in spring.

The vineyards that surround me are sparse. They've gone into hibernation, their grapes plump and round, have been harvested. Their leaves, the colors of fall, are mulch beneath my boots. All that remains, all that is left, are branches.

Winter has come, uninvited but expected. She brings with her cold winds, and frigged evening temps, things we know, things we anticipate. Too often, however, we forget that for a season (sometimes longer), winter causes damage. She doesn't intend to, of course, but, it happens.

There was a time that my entire being was in a winter. I felt her chill, from the inside out. I was made of branches that poked, and my thorns were a crown I wore proudly. The ground within me was solid and frozen, and that winter? That winter hurt.

Upon viewing the new portraits my friend Tamara shot of me this week, I had a startling realization. It didn't hit me while we were shooting, but it certainly did as I clicked through.

In the midst of winter, I am in spring.

I am in spring. I am in spring. I am in, spring. It's a beautiful season as it turns out! Though the ground surrounding me is sleeping, the branches, the trees, the buds - they're in a mid-winter rest, but my soul, my soul is in bloom.

I think there's something to be said about the order of the seasons, that spring would follow winter, that beauty would follow mess. I believe too, that stepping into my own spring after being in a long, dark winter, has given me a new lens for gratitude.

In the cold, I feel warm. In the clouds, I feel sun. In the hardest parts of the shortest days, I feel grace and peace and a renewal of spirit. Spring is possible, because of the goodness of a God who never left my side. He carried me in fact, over the snow, and through the storms, and he sat me down, ever so gently, in a field of flowers.

In the midst of winter, I am spring.

And I'm thankful, every moment, of every day.