Noticings – May 18, 2022


May 18, 2022

It has been a cooler than expected spring. Then last week the temperatures soared into the high 20s. Surely, spring had been skipped right over and we were on our way to summertime! Nope. This week we’re right back to low-mid teens again. What’s going on? Well, the easiest way to say it is: “Weather happens.” When we lived in Nova Scotia we experienced much more changeable weather than here. A common phrase down east was, “If you don’t like the weather, wait an hour, it’ll be different!” That’s the beautiful thing about weather – it’s constantly changing. +
I frequently use the metaphor of ‘seasons’ in my theological discourse. In nature, in our part of Canada, we experience four distinct seasons. They have calendar dates assigned to them, but we’re all smart enough to know that they don’t always coincide with one another. Nonetheless, in time, all four seasons will emerge (and if you’re in Nova Scotia sometimes during one day!).
Seasons are slow moving, sometimes imperceptibly. Sometimes glacially! When we’re in a season of discomfort, or trouble, or dis-ease the seasons move too slowly for our liking. At the start of the pandemic I called it a season. I still think that’s true – it’s just a much longer and slower season than I ever expected it to be. Weather, on the other hand, changes much more quickly. It blows in and out, bringing warmth or cool or precipitation, and then it moves on.
I think the spiritual lesson in this is that we need to be aware of both kinds of change at the same time. Our moods and emotions may rise and fall like the barometer, and our energy and focus may blow in and out with the wind. But at the same time we are in the midst of longer seasons of growing, nurturing, and hopefully flourishing – in time. We want it to be in the time of the weather, but it tends to be in the time of seasons.
It may come down to our perception. Can we trust in the ebb and flow of both weather and seasons in our spiritual lives? Can we honour the ups and downs? Can we accept it when a cold front storms in and chills our day, knowing that it will quickly blow out again soon? Can we remember that the weather and the seasons will happen regardless of how we feel about it, and that taking a step back and honouring the gifts they bring rather than fighting them is the path to peace?
You can’t change the weather, and you can’t rush the seasons – you can only change how you perceive them, and how you live and love in them. There are days, many days, when I wish I could live in a perfectly climate controlled environment and have it exactly the way I want it every day. But I’m certain it wouldn’t be long until I longed for some weather to happen!
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Rev. Larry