Genesis 1: 14 Beloved, times and seasons are in My hand. They have been firmly rooted and I marked them. . . I set them in order with the Word of My mouth. (unsure of which version was used for this article) And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heaves to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and for years. (ESV)
Genesis 8:22 While the Earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.
Psalm 104:19 I appointed the moon for the seasons and the sun itself knows the exact time of its setting.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die: a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
Jeremiah 5:24 They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain in its season, and the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest
Daniel 2:21 God changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.
Acts 1:7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
Acts 14:17 Yet He did not leave himself without witness, for He did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.
I never liked winter. It was dark so early, and stayed dark until later in the morning. The New England winters seemed to hug cloudy, foggy, gray mornings not wanting to have the sun peek through and lift the gloom. There were several activities I liked doing in the winter—skating, sledding, tobogganing, reading and so forth.
Those days had winter play clothes stuffed with stuffing making one a contestant for the Michelin Man or Pillsbury Doughboy Contests. Your knees couldn’t truly bend, your elbows certainly did not have a full range of motion, and certainly one could not play any game that required one to sneak up on another. The wisp, wisp, wisp of the nylon leggings ensured that. Falling off a flying saucer or a regular sled made climbing into an upright position to drag it back to the top of the hill a laughing experience.
So, I did have a lot of fun times. But the gloom gripped me. Always, I had an underlying anxiety during the winter. I worried my parents would be in a car accident, I was persistently checking my schoolwork—had I completed the assignment? Was the paper in my book bag? My mind whirred with “stuff.” I chose to go to bed earlier since it was so dark and the nights were longer, and I had an electric blanket on my bed. It seemed I needed more comfort all the time in the winter—my blanket, warm socks and slippers, and flannel pjs that were snug at the ankle because I had the pants creeping as high up as my knees. We had a couple chihuahuas and I worried about them being out in the cold, sometimes holding up one paw at a time to lessen the cold seeping into them. We also had a large mutt, and he preferred sleeping on the porch, but when it was below freezing we would encourage him in.
I must admit the first two snowstorms were pretty, watching the snowflakes tumble down in front of the streetlight, but it also meant we would be putting on those coats and snow pants that prohibited easy movement to go shovel again before our father came in from work at midnight. UGH!
But eventually, about February I could tell the days were getting a little brighter. The brightness brought hope and a lessening of the gloomy feeling that I struggled with in the dead of winter.
When we moved here, it was January, and noticeably brighter. Now I know it is because sunrise comes later to the northeast by 30-45 minutes depending on the month, and sunset is earlier. Compared to our area of NC, we have about 75-90 minutes more of daylight, and according to the calendars I have recorded over the last seven years, we have more days of sun—maybe not a full day, but at least a half day of sunshine often.
Physically and emotionally, I feel better here. It is generally warmer than New England, although not always, but I can start most days out with a brisk walk, maybe chilly, but generally the walk gets done. I start feeling hopeful right after Christmas—we are past the shortest day of the year, and checking my weather app, it shows we gain 1-2 minutes more of daylight, slightly earlier sunrise, slightly later sunset, and by the end of January, I know Spring will be presenting flowers, colors, buds on trees, and the birds will be singing and praising the day.
One of the other things I enjoy about winter in NC is seeing the Northern Lights Grass—a decorative grass that in the late Fall, early Winter waves and looks pink-lavender in color; and then shortly after Christmas, my camellia bushes blossom.
I know God designed winter for a time of rest for the land, for the plants that come from various bulbs, and for the farmers, giving them time to do house repairs, repair equipment needed to care for their livestock whether it be bridles, leads, repairing fencing or whatever. It gives fisherman some down time to repair nets, clean up boats, repaint, get barnacles off if needed, and so forth. God designed winter to we could rest, read around a fire during family time and look forward to the newness that comes with Spring. There are flowers, new birds, new life sprouting in vegetation and in animals—best time to see those new fawns on trembly legs with white spots.
The Fall here is not drastically pretty like the week or so in New England. The colors are not vibrant, except for the Bradford pear trees. They are lovely in the early Spring with their white blossoms, but in the Fall they are RED, and the color stays for a bit more than 1-2 weeks. It is a slow advance toward winter and less light, while for me in NE, it was by October I was anxious and feeling burdened.
I am so thankful that my winters are now in NC. Glancing at the weather app and checking the areas where family are and seeing the late sunrise and early sunset makes me feel badly for them and they all know if I am there in any part of December, I will be gone December 5, right after my granddaughter’s birthday!
Lord, You knew the best place to put us when You moved us here. There are four seasons here, but the winters are milder and still has more daylight shining. And You know I love the other three seasons; each of them give me pleasure.
Thank You that birds are starting to sing and flirt, and the days are shining more light longer, and the cycle starts again. You have shown me how to appreciate winter more over these past 25 years or so, and I am so grateful. Always You are there for me and ‘mybellaviews.’