Soul In Winter

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Autumn is a season of harvest. It is also a time to plant. The problem is, unlike planting in the spring where we are rewarded with tiny first leaves within a couple of weeks, fall planting is delayed gratification. The daffodils and tulips snuggle in their earthen beds all winter until the warmth of March wakes them up. It is worth the wait.

This brings to mind how gratitude is like those bulbs.

 All too often I find my soul in winter. Life is full of problems, heartaches, and disappointments. And then there always seems to be that irritating person whose goal in life is to make me miserable. It is so easy to be negative. If I’m not careful, this becomes my reality.

But there is a solution.

I practice gratitude. In a way it is like planting a bulb. I may not feel different, but gratitude does its magic in my winter soul. One day I find I am different. I’m not angry at the irritating person. My vision is clear and I consider the reasons this person is that way. I’m able to reflect on the heartaches and disappointments and see them as growth steps. Problems? There will always be problems. How I think about them determines their affect on me.

What do you have to be grateful for? You may be asking yourself that question this very minute. I think of the most basic things I would hate to do without. While in Honduras I saw people draw their drinking water from scum-covered ponds. They also bathed in that water. I came home grateful for the warm baths I took in drinking quality water.

If you find your soul in winter, all is cold, bleak, and gray. Plant some seeds of gratitude. Spring is just around the corner.