Barren branches told me this morning that a new season has arrived. The streets are messy with dead, fallen leaves and the skies are a soft wintry gray. I noticed this morning the deep brown trunks of leafless trees lining the road as I drove in to work.
Fronts push through one right after another, not leaving us frozen or snowed in, but cold enough that it makes me want to stay inside and make foods rich with warmth and comfort. It's the time of year when I wear out my crock pot and my large handled mugs and cozy blankets. We use our heater sparingly and keep warm with woolen socks, cuddles and down comforters.
Winter is the time for quiet. To be still and rest. It reminds me of loss and death and how all things need a time to wait, to sit, to die before spring can revive and renew everything all over again.
Including me - my heart, my body, my soul
Every day, my body grows with expectance and I must sit and rest more than I would care to. Resting means I can't be productive and control the world around me. I can't manage or be in charge as I'm at the mercy and grace of others to help me with things that need getting done. I need help shaving my legs and gathering up the laundry because the third trimester for me means excruciating lower back pain.
I'm forced to ask for help. I'm forced to rest.
It's not my favorite season. I hate feeling the sting of biting, cold air once the holidays are over and packed away in storage bins and memory books. I hate how "needy" I am during my third trimester and fight feelings of being only a burden to others. Ordinarily, I find myself trying to stay busy through the winter in efforts to make it pass by quickly. If I pack my schedule tight or make to-do lists miles long full of projects around the house, I can speed through the season and spring will be here before I know it.
Resting often makes me feel restless and I am so prone to resist the resting. I tend give in to the lies that I'm good for nothing if I can't DO. Yet I see where rest is needed - especially now. My body is made to slow down in preparation for what is to come. When spring brings new life and activity and change. The rest will provide me the energy and strength I need. When it is once again time for the doing.
I find myself wondering how to embrace my winter, my third trimester - this season I'm in before I become a mother of two. What it might look like to rest and how this season is made for all things to sleep and wait. I'm curious what gifts might be found in such a season if I take the time to notice. And what might happen if I stopped resisting what I need and let things go and just stay warm under my blankets for awhile. To hold my belly tight and rest until spring gives birth to all things new.