When Winter Comes in July
We forgive ourselves, I think, when we’re not quite ourselves in the winter. When thick sweaters and dirty slush are normal companions. When heavy blankets of snow give us permission for heavy blankets on our spirits.
What happens, then, when the temperatures rise, but our temperaments don’t? When the days are longer, but lonelier? When thinner clothing only leaves us more exposed?
As I read and listen and connect with friends — both on and offline — I am struck this year by the heaviness I feel around them. Where life is more about longing for change in one form or another than it is about carefree, porch-swinging, lightening-bug-catching, barefoot-walking moments.
What are you supposed to do when winter shows up squarely in the middle of summer?
You look for Christmas.
In C.S. Lewis’s classic The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Mr. Tumnus explains to Lucy that The White Witch “has got all Narnia under her thumb. It’s she that makes the days always winter. Always winter and never Christmas; think of that!”
And later, when Lucy & her siblings get the first sense of hope, it’s brought by Father Christmas. If Christmas is here, the thaw cannot be far behind.
Because Aslan, their savior, is near. Because Jesus, himself, came near at Christmas. Bringing with him hope. And wonder. And peace. And joy.
And who says Christmas can’t show up squarely in the middle of summer, too?
Because these same friends — the ones I know are feeling paper-thin and messy and heartbroken — are also reporting on moments of belonging and fellowship and oneness with nature. Of the tiniest hints of an impending thaw — no matter how slowly that day is dawning.
It’s Christmas. In July.
And it’s making me Merry, indeed.
— Beth Hess (@MyBestBeth) July 30, 2014
Posting on Tuesday, but tomorrow linking up with my #ThreeWordWednesday friends. Link on the photo below to read more.