There is a season for everything. The Bible and the Beatles say so.
This particular season of my life is coming to a close. I have exactly 24 days left until I turnover my not-so-9-5 job to someone else. Just two weeks more where I will answer “What do you do?” with “Nuclear Engineer.” This is the only job that I’ve had since college and these are the words that have defined me and this season of life for over a decade.
The last three years of this season have been the most challenging and heart-rending that I’ve ever experienced. After 3.5 years at sea (encompassing both an 8 and 9 month deployment, two transpacific and one cross-country move), I am bone tired and weary. I am exhausted. Plumb. Tuckered. Out. I want nothing more than to take some time off to sleep for one week straight without a telephone ringing in the middle of the night or an alarm alerting me that it is time to stand watch. But there are still 24 days left till turnover and 54 days until I actually start a new job – a new life. And they will not be easy.
I know. I know: It’s almost over. Keep going. You should be so excited about what’s coming next! I’ve heard it all and yeah, I get it. It’s not that I’m not grateful or happy about the change. It’s just that the sun may be shining in Virginia Beach and all evidence of snow has melted away, but it is still very much winter in this heart. And the thawing process is taking a bit longer than expected.
Sometimes Winter goes on too long. The once fresh powdery snow is now brown and muddied and piled into 15 foot drifts in empty parking lots. You haven’t seen the sun in months and your skin just won’t get moisturized. The ever present snow teaches your feet not to trust that the ground isn’t slick with ice so you move cautiously and so much slower than you used to. The cold keeps you inside (figuratively and literally) and you become still and inward focused, waiting on the next season. In the thick of winter, spring is a distant siren whose location you can’t quite pinpoint. It’s hard to believe that Magnolias or Impatiens will bloom or that Sparrows will chirp you awake again with snow still on the ground.
Except that they do it every year. I remind myself of this as I tentatively test the ground in front of me for black ice
. Even long winters end eventually. Seasons change and with it comes new life abloom. This season is ending and though I have no idea whether the next will bring with it snow drifts or calla lilies, I’m ready for the change.