I’m not usually the biggest fan of winter — and that’s putting it mildly. I get cold really easily — the kind of cold that seeps into my sternum and makes me curl into myself to keep warm. I usually sleep in tank tops, but the second I wake up, I have to put on a jacket (right now it’s my choir fleece, also known as the Comfiest Thing I Currently Own). God bless my dear, darling friends for putting up with me during the cold months — I often joke that they have to listen to me complain about the chill in my bones from October to April, and especially after Christmas.
Almost every time Christmas rolls over into January, the weather turns nasty: winds that whip and chills that freeze. I start to ache for April — milder temperature and even just a little green. I begin to detest the scrambling tree limbs, the way their witchy fingers tear at the sky.
But this year is a little different.
Over the past months, God bas been waking me up to some of the seasonal beauty of creation, the way those four markers of time roll gently into one another and show me an aspect of His gorgeous self. Summer’s colors are the deepest I’ve ever seen, the most saturated. Spring is so sweet. This year, I’ve also come to the realization about my least favorite time of year, the icy, gross time between Christmas and the first buds of spring.
Cold is adventure weather.
Winter is the adventure season.
Think about it: all the adventure books feature some kind of cold. Tolkien’s purest weather comes in the form of cold winds, fresh breezes out of the north. When I go outside and am greeted by a brisk gust in my face, my first instinct is to hide inside my choir fleece. But my second instinct — it is slowly coming to sound like the whisper of the Spirit of God, saying to me, Look around you.
Adventure is everywhere. It’s even in the cold, because the bright chill on my skin and the rapacious wind that turns my hair into a bunch of golden-blonde whips, like a cat o’ nine tails — these signs of winter weather reminds of the adventure that surrounds me on all sides.
It reminds me of the way God is alive and moving, quickening the lifeblood of the trees even in the dead of winter.
Something is moving, even in the bleak midwinter.
This winter, I want to see the season with new eyes. I want to behold it in all its adventurous understatement.
Adventure is always understated.
This winter, though I doubt I will stop dreading the cold (let’s not get crazy here), I also want to let it inspire me.
Instead of forcing my chin into my scarf, I want my eyes to drift up to the purest azure skies — winter has the bluest sky you ever saw — and behold God in creation.
In the cold.
In the wet.
In the ice.
In the time of year we want most to stay inside, I want to see His Kingdom in the ice on my car as I wait for my windshield to defrost. I want to see His adventure story written in the soft, drowsy clouds.
May we breathe the chilly wind deeply into our lungs this winter. May it shock us awake to the Kingdom all around us.