By Jebraun CliffordSpring is a tricky, fickle season here in New Zealand, especially on the Central Plateau of the North Island. While the days may be getting longer, that doesn’t mean they’re consistently getting warmer. I keep glancing at my calendar and rooting for summer to make its grand entrance. However, the weather isn’t cooperating. Yesterday I couldn’t stop shivering despite layering on the clothing, and I’m just going to pretend I didn’t have to throw the wool blanket back on the bed a few nights ago because of a freakish cold front.
If I had my way, it would be summer year-round. You see, at my heart, I’m a California girl who craves the sunshine. I can’t get enough of summer. I love everything about it: dripping ice-cream cones and ripe stone-fruit, hours spent sweltering on the beach or by the lake, bare feet and floppy sun hats, loading up the car for a holiday road trip, and lying under the stars on a warm evening—not forgetting to apply plenty of bug spray!
But waiting for summer to actually get here can be problematic. I admire the swelling buds on my hydrangeas and all I can think about is how beautiful they’ll be when they’re finally in bloom with all their purple glory. I watch the rain shower down on my teensy, tiny tomato plants and imagine biting into a juicy beefsteak or popping a tiny heirloom cherry tomato into my mouth. I go to my closet and sorrowfully hold up t-shirts and shorts and pine for the day when I can wear them without also needing a puffer jacket and scarf. Spring to me is all about restless expectancy. I want summer, and I want it now.
This impatience trickles over in other areas of my life as well. As a pre-published writer (which sounds so much more optimistic than unpublished), I feel like I’m suspended indefinitely in the early stages of spring. I’m still tilling the ground, preparing the seed, getting ready to plant, when what I want is to have a hardback copy of my book in my hands. I don’t want to wait any longer.
I’m realizing what I need to have satisfaction with whatever season I’m in. Like Paul writes in the book of Philippians, I want to “…learn the secret of being content in any and every situation.” This isn’t a new lesson for me. I’ve had to put into practice this concept before.
When my children were little and I was still getting up with them several times during the night, I remember older and wiser mums telling me this season wasn’t going to last forever. That my babies were eventually going to grow up, sleep through the night, and I should enjoy the special cuddles while I could get them. Thankfully, I listened to these women and tried to cherish that early bonding time with each of my children.
When it comes to writing, I’ve had more than one conversation with authors who have encouraged me to have patience, enjoy learning more about the craft, relish the days of flipping open my laptop and simply telling a story without a deadline looming over me.
So that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to find the joy in this season, trying not to only look ahead to what could be, but also focus on what is. Some days I have more success than others, but I’m hoping to look back one day and be thankful I was content with the time I was given.
I’d love to hear any strategies you might have for being content!