Self Portrait :: February 2014


 Today I logged into facebook, and saw more than a handful of my friends comment on how this winter is slowly withering their souls. The general consensus is: "Enough, Minnesota. Enough. Please, Good Lord, ENOUGH."

We started February optimistic. It's a short month. Spring is just a round the corner. The target clerk I see (a little too frequently,) always reminds me. Spring is coming.

My mom at this time of year always encourages a special kind of grace towards people. She begins giving more credit to the weather (rightly so,) and takes care to not take offense too easily at the shortness of peoples words; at the harshness of peoples tones. Her recognition of the seasons was trademark for my high-school drama years. "Honey, it's almost spring-everyone gets like this during this time of year."  Her words stay with me still.

Eowyn pays no mind to freezing temps. The time has come for walks. She grabs her boots, hands me mine, and we bundle up and go.

All these thoughts were swirling around my head today as I set off outside, thigh deep in snow-with fingers frozen just to get a couple of pictures. Trying to sum up a month can be challenging.

On one hand, this winter (and most certainly February) has been pretty symbolic for this season of our life. "Soon goodness and relief and [insert all joyful things] will come!" Our anticipation of future things will someday be met, and that 'someday' draws nearer every week.

On the other hand, it has been in this very unique winter that we've learned how to lean into the 'hard' rather than run. The result: We've never been better. Our souls have been anchored. As we commented last night to each other, we don't fear quite like we once did.

Even the second to last picture up there; leaning thigh deep in snow, the wind blew and seconds later I was assaulted by fluff from on top of the trees. But lookey there! I got to capture a bit of that glitter before it came crashing down in heaps.

So, I guess all of this is to say that I'm not sure if I'm angry at the repeated rush of cold. It's crazy because I'm normally the first one in line raging against old man winter. This time around, with a toddler constantly wanting to be entertained, and more reasons than not to be very solemn regarding the repeated assaults this winter has brought (cancelled plans, not leaving the house for strings of days, Eowyn's flair up of eczema, etc.) Surprisingly, I've been finding myself taking it in strides. Some days are amazing. Some days are not. Someday's I shed tears over chai running out and our board books (some of those story lines are so beautiful.) Other days we're hittin' up the library and meeting up with friends and having a good ol time.

All in strides.

It's been a sweet relief that this entire season hasn't been a wash. I feared it, and my fears were not realized. February has had some really awesome conversations, some really not-so-awesome moments and a lot of opportunities to lean into grace and to say "sorry," "it's okay," "that's why there's two of us," "thank you," and frequently, "don't read too far into it." After all, it's the weather.

Also, I love winter hats. They hide scraggly, unwashed hair.

Plus, Eowyn's tooth just might be legitimately healed. We're going on week two and it hasn't moved or turned grey. We're prophesying: miracle.

Happy February. Or at least, 'Optimistic February!'

Spring is coming, people.

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