William Shakespeare first used the phrase “Winter of Discontent” in his popular play Richard III, where King Richard is expressing his feelings of discontent. We get the idea that he is not happy with his current situation. Later Shakespeare’s line has been used to describe several historical world events such as the winter of 1978-79 in the United Kingdom. Somehow this expression also seems fitting to my own life situation at this season of my life.
Why would I identify with the phrase “Winter of Discontent”? Maybe it has something to do with the seemingly endless number of medical tests, specialist appointments and hospital stays which has been going on for a year and a half now with still no end in sight, or the lack of good quality sleep that has left me incapable of living a normal productive existence. I feel as though my life has derailed, yet who am I to say that this diversion from my perceived intended course, is not in fact the very route my life was meant to take.
I keep asking myself: why have I been so inactive, why so slow to answer messages or initiate just about anything? The answer comes to me. It’s because the railroad switch was activated in the train track of my life. My train changed tracks to one called “Survival”.
The season of winter in our lives is characterised by such things as sadness, sickness, and loneliness. It’s as if life has been put on hold. It is the time to rest, prepare, to think and learn and so it has been in my life. When we think about the winter season, the growth is not visible. But something does still happen beneath the surface even when it doesn’t feel like it, even when we feel we are not really living, only existing. How important it is to remember that our success in the next harvest season is greatly dependent on our preparations in winter.
I keep reminding myself: After rain, comes sunshine. After a long night, dawn arises. Sorrow and joy take turns, longing and fulfilment create a cycle. Life is a precious gift no matter what the season.
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