during the month of february, if you live in the midwest, things get pretty brutal for a nice long stretch. bone chilling cold. charcoal-colored snow piles stained from exhaust fumes. parched skin. chapped lips. grey skies as far as the eye can see.
recently, we had a welcome respite of warmer weather, which melted the layers of snow piled up on the city streets. the build-up blanketing tree branches also thawed, leaving sad branches that were gnarled, barren, leafless…lifeless.
cold and grey on the outside = bitter on the inside. the professionals have a name for it: "seasonal affective disorder" (aptly named SAD). when you’re going through a rough patch, the bleak surroundings make your plight all the more dismal. it's hard to see the light.
but then you do.
the other day, i was getting into the car and noticed this bird’s nest perched up in one of the trees outside our house. it too looked dead. abandoned. no sign of life. no hint of hope.
yet it was hopeful. every year, as they always do, the birds come back. when we step out our door come springtime, we’re greeted by chirping. if you look even closer, you can see the tiny buds on the branches.
it seems strange to look to nature for parallels in life—after all, we’re supposedly higher order beings capable of thinking, feeling, loving, hating, climbing, seeking, giving up. but it’s hard to ignore the signs.
from the ashes comes possibility. if you've ever seen the planet earth series, there is chill-inducing footage of a blazing prairie fire that wipes out vegetation, drives herds of gazelles from their habitat, leaving death and destruction in its wake...then like a miracle, sprouts of grass emerge from the scorched earth.
even amidst darkness, there is hope. nature won't disappoint...and in my opinion, neither will life.