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Having been shocked into awareness of the impending season of winter with ten inches of snow last Thursday and waking up to frigid temperatures since that tell me it was no fluke, I am slowly acquiescing to what will most certainly remain for the next four or five…maybe even six months: cold and probably gray weather. I do not usually mind winter. In fact I sometimes glory in the crisp cold and the beauty of the winter wonderland provided by  snow-covered hills. I wonder if this year will be different or if this difficult start is a sign of change in my outlook as well as in an aging body. Fearing the worst, I turn for encouragement to Meg Wheatley’s book, Perseverance, and am once again called to a new way of seeing. The title is Clarity.

It can take many years of being battered and bruised by events and people to discover clarity on the other side of struggle. This clarity is not about how to win, but about  how to be, how to withstand life’s challenges, how to stay in the river. 

We never learn to triumph over life, but we can learn that every defeat, every problem, every terror is a teacher that prepares us for the next hardship. And we learn to expect that there are more difficulties ahead.

When this clarity emerges from our experience, what also emerges is trust in ourselves. We realize that we can cope and learn and grow from hardship and trials. We learn to accept difficulty and setback as part of life’s normal processes. We cease feeling threatened by most things…

The encouragement continues but, for now, that’s enough to get me ready for the day when I will get out the winter tires for my car, take them to the dealer to be installed and balanced and hope that I will proceed – balanced as well – back on the road that leads me forward.