February in Hawaii is the Cruelest Month –
This is my least favorite time of year. The winds cool the air that is typically so thick it clings to you. And I am grateful. I can open my windows, take cool evening walks, and thoroughly enjoy my coffee as I watch the sunrise. But I dread opening up Facebook and seeing pictures of snow with complaints about the very thing I am longing for.
Sun guilt is a real thing. The cold, dreary, house-bound days of winter are a sabbatical from the busyness of life. A call to stop and rest. To soak in extra time reading by the fire and to make that extra cup of afternoon coffee. Growing up, these days meant extra time listening to my mom read from Little House on the Prairie or Ginger Pye while I laid on the floor coloring. This time to pause “real” life and focus on the nurturing little moments provided a sort of built-in mental health day regularly for several months of the year.
In Hawaii, there is no such call for the cessation of activities that require you to leave the house. The sun shines almost every day. While I know that sounds like a dream for those of you who haven’t seen the sun in days, sun guilt, feeling guilty because you want to curl up in the house but it’s beautiful out, is a real thing. And come February, the world needs a break. The joy of Christmas has passed, the excitement of the start of the new year and the promise of resolutions have faded, and we are left waiting.
February is a time to curl up and to be buried in life. But Hawaii, and life, often demand that I continue to give myself, even when I am emptied. Flowers continue to bloom and puppies beg to chase the geckos and the shoreline.
I miss the lull and the rhythm of seasons. I try my best to embrace what I know the rest of the world is feeling even as I feel trapped in a sort of dystopian limbo of perpetual summer. And if fall is the death of the trees and spring is the time to celebrate new life, I think perhaps winter is the time for resting in the in-between, to be buried.
Hawaii has left me feeling like a zombie, empty, but pressing on, desperately clinging to the fragment of life. And obviously in desperate need of a long nap.
But He meets us in these places. And I often wonder if these places are part of where we stop, draw close and have a spiritual winter. Perhaps this moment where we draw close to God, where we rest and need to hunker down and listen to the Father read over us His love.
But if this is the winter, let us not stop in fear but in faith, believing in the spring and the dead being raised from the ground to life.