The Seasons of Life

April is a tough one in Vermont. Every morning before I get out of bed, I check the weather on my phone - ours here in Richmond, my sister's in New York, and my parents' in Atlanta. Yesterday morning it was 32 at my house, 50 in the Big Apple, and 72 down south. This is my third April in New England, and it's still hard. Every one else is getting spring, and I'm still stuck in winter. There's still snow on the ground, and I'm still wearing a down coat. 

These cold months have been difficult for so many reasons, and it is so easy - the easiest - to sink into a feeling that how it is now is how it will always be, that this season is endless. It will be winter, forever and always. 

I was tooling around in the archives of my previous blog the other day and came across the post below. I wrote it 5 years ago, and reading my own words again this week was enormously comforting - not because they were somehow brilliant but because they reminded me that the seasons always change. Always. It is never winter forever. Even if I wanted it to stay, it wouldn't. 

So many of the things I longed for 5 years ago have come to pass and some haven't. The life I have now, just 5 years later, is one I never could have imagined - in both wonderful and difficult ways. The seasons have changed. Just like they always do. 

* * *

My girlfriend and I have a recurring conversation about death - or life - depending on how you look at it. She wants to die in her 80s, and I would like someone to come interview me when I'm 110 because I'm the oldest person around. Her reasons make sense - she doesn't want to live long enough to see all of her loved ones die, and she doesn't want to be alive when she can't really live anymore.

It's not that I want those things to happen - it's just that I need the time.  I cling to stories of people who are bopping around, mowing the lawn and gardening when they're in their 90s. There are so many things that I want to do, and I need all those years if I'm going to get to them all.

There are days when I feel just desperate about the fact that I don't have a garden, not even some herb pots by the window.  I wonder how I can dream of having land and a vegetable garden, how I can delightedly buy myself a copy of The Backyard Homestead when I didn't even make it a priority to rent an apartment with a south-facing window. 

I'm daily traumatized by the fact that I don't write regularly, that I haven't acted in years, that I'm not in a choir, that I haven't started my own baking/crafting business spent more time crafting, that I'm not a mom yet, that I've never learned to speak Spanish.

But then I try to calm myself by remembering back to this post I read a couple of years ago.  I don't have to do everything right now - in fact, I can't.  Asking myself to start a backyard homestead while starting a job at a large law firm would be like asking the universe to make it snow while it's 95 degrees outside.  We can't ask for all four seasons at the same time, but just because it's spring now doesn't mean it will be spring forever. 

This is my legal season, and realizing that it will not go on forever will allow me to really appreciate it for what it is.  Believing that there will be many, many years and many seasons in the future for me to do all of those things that pull on my heart strings helps me in those moments where I feel panicked about the things I'm not doing. 

So I'm holding on to all of my dreams and desires and counting on the fact that I'll be around here long enough for their seasons to come.

* * * 

Though let's be real: I never fully appreciated my legal season. Sad, since I'll be paying it off for many seasons to come.

p.s. Donuts for all seasons

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