what a snow storm in April can teach you...lessons in trusting your intuition
That there is an end-of-April snow creature. I can't promise you it will be the last one we will make this season, as we have seen snow in May before, but we are hoping. In all fairness, we went out in the morning to create this idyllic masterpiece and by the afternoon, all that was left of it was one raisin and a chewed up carrot in a puddle of melted snow. It was that quick. And today? Well, we will put our shorts on and go play down by the creek.
And that's how things seem to go. The warmth of an almost summer shows up and we embrace it. We get serious...the bathing suits come out, while snow pants get packed up...we clear out the winter boots in the mudroom and instantly replace them with our flip flops and Keens. The cross country skis go back in the rafters, the sleds under the porch, and the shovels get buried somewhere back in the corner of the garage. We are opening windows on the first 60 degree day, making sure the sunscreen hasn't expired (although we will make more if it has) and inflating the pool floaties, just in case there might be a last minute hole to patch. The ice pop molds are washed for the kids and filled with our favorite juice, the seltzer water is stocked, waiting for a lime and a splash of gin and an extra bag of charcoal is ready for the grill. We are all part of the summer welcoming committee and you won't find better hosts this time of year...
But then again, every once in a while, it snows in April. The winter coats have to come back out, the boots, mittens, hats...We know about this possibility. In the back of our minds, we really do. But still, for a moment, we feel defeated. Although I would like to say we have been tricked again, we really have brought this one on ourselves. We know what to expect every year...it has even snowed in mid-May before (that's a true story), but it doesn't stop us from taking off the pool cover on the first day the sun is out (which, by the way friends, is way before Memorial day).
And sometimes, life feels like that, too
Sometimes we find ourselves here...knowing what to expect. Knowing it isn't going to change, but still hoping. Knowing deep down inside, that this is how it will be played out if we stay. We still hold on to the little bit of hope the warm Wisconsin sun will bring to temporarily tease us into thinking we have finally arrived in a place that feels good. A place we can trust...a place we can count on. We have all been here throughout our lives. We have all been in these spaces, these situations, these relationships, where the writing is on the wall, but we are still dusting off the patio furniture for the just in case.
We have all taken a job we knew was not a good fit. We all have stayed in a relationship much too long or started one we knew wasn't good for us. We have all covered up feelings with food, alcohol, maybe drugs, maybe sex...knowing there was a better way. We have all said things we shouldn't have and not said things we should have. We have spent too much time crying, not enough time laughing. Too much time hiding, not enough time just getting out there and doing what you know. We have all, at one point, created busy to distract us from...well...us. We know this. We know we do this. We set ourselves up for this, knowing that we really have all of the information to either avoid it entirely or minimally lessen the emotional casualty list. But we still find ourselves trying on swim suits.
On the other hand, we have all been crazy happy and know what this feels like, even just for a moment. We have all laughed uncontrollably, felt love, felt joy. Most of us, if we are lucky, have a couple good friends that might sit out on the deck on that first 60 degree day with you and toast the beginning of summer. If we are lucky.
We are not all that lucky...I know.
But one thing I do know...good or bad...it passes. It will pass. These times where it feels like we can't take one more snow in April...it passes. One more heartache, one more disappointment, one more punch in the gut...it will pass, my friends. And the next time, it will be replaced with something better...a gift that lets you navigate better for your future. A gift that lets you see with a bit more clarity. A sense of knowing and strength that you matter and your needs are important...a sense of wisdom that will hold your hand until the sun is beating down on your face and the deep breath that you have been holding onto is finally exhaled...
And sometimes in April, we just have to hold on to that.
I haven't put away the winter boots yet. I am keeping my eyes open...but I am also fixing drinks on my deck and getting ready to toast whatever is on my way...