Thankfully, spring has arrived. God is a genius for putting it right after winter. There are various kinds of winters; i.e., personal winters, social winters, economic winters, and financial winters. Some are long. Some are short. The good news is spring follows winter with regularity.
Caregiving and COVID-19 can be considered "winters." However, if we are open to it, the possibility of being able to discover or to know, there just might be an Intelligence that gives us something beautiful to also see, experience, and learn every day amid our personal winters.
When fear, apprehension, and worry take center stage, we caregivers have learned, and are learning through this new-normal, to take a step back and re-evaluate "time" and how we spend it. We have slowed down, reformed priorities, and changed our habits. Some people have faced their fears, tackled projects, or initiated long-overdue conversations. Others have rehabilitated their sleep patterns, while some have let go of something or someone that finally needed to be over.
For me, Caregiving and COVID-19 have made me less judgmental. My patience and compassion have evolved now to the point I have kept my Ruger holstered 97.8% of the time. My biggest takeaway, however, is knowing that if I don't deal with problems, and bury the anxiety, burdens, and stress that can arise from work, relationships, COVID-19, Caregiving, etc., they will show up in the spring when the snow melts, with regularity.
There can also be unprecedented kindnesses that show up in winter. "Some Good News" with John Krasinski aired a story with hundreds, if not thousands, of people flicking on and off their home and high-rise apartment lights, all at the same time as applause to thank their local frontline medical teams.
Police and fire departments pulled their rigs onto the front lawn of a hospital, turned on their sirens and lights, and gave a standing ovation to the dedicated medical staff and volunteers who looked on from inside its every floor.
A husband stood outside the window of a care facility and sang Amazing Grace to his wife. She was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's yet sang along with her husband remembering every word.
Lastly, some of the most breathtaking scenery happens in winter. The sunrises are more dramatic. I can ski. Clouds hang and drape around the pine trees, and there is usually a layer of fog that sits above Lake Tahoe or the Truckee River in early mornings.
What this Intelligence is trying to show us, tell us, or teach us is that winter does not have to be unkind, barren, dormant, negative, and cold. Winter has its own purposes and beauty.
WHAT IS TRUE FOR ME
When I am going through a personal winter, the Universe, (also referred to as a Higher Power, God, Intelligence, Source of all Knowing, Buddha, etc.) never fails to show its presence. I am certainly no one special. Everyone receives these winks, but they may be too busy, too stressed, too harried, frustrated, or impatient, to look up or look ahead to see or notice them.
The following are examples of winks I received during winter. This goofy face was staring back at me when I returned with salt. I went from crying to bursting out laughing.
This cloud formation was seen off my back deck the same day I saw a bald eagle and three hawks.
God's honest truth, this is how my friend's hair mousse comes out of its can every. single. time. So, I joined in the fun and made a funny video clip.
Some of the signs from the Universe are obvious. Some are more cryptic and take time to unfold their pearls of wisdom. No matter what, the message is always the same; "I am here. I am with you. I've got your back."
So, the next time you find yourself in winter, remember it can bring perspective. Different weather conditions and all seasons bring perspective, i.e., spring, illness, optimism, mistakes, rain, hopelessness, tears, summer, confidence, hail, confusion, autumn, hurricanes, sadness, loss, sleet, fear, anger, isolation, grief, frustration, chaos, and panic - they all bring perspective.
How many seasons do we, as caregivers, experience in one day or even one hour? How often are the seasons changing in our daily lives because of COVID-19? Or changing in COVID-19 itself?
What are your winters today? And how does this Intelligence show up for you with its promise of spring?
When you look back on past winters, did everything end up right and perfect for you?
Consider sitting back and quiet the howling winds of winter’s storm. Remember that spring always follows winter. Lean in and listen to what the Universe is trying to show you, tell you, and teach you. And trust that nothing is by chance and that this Intelligence is benevolent, it is here with you and it has your back.