For Game of Thrones fans, the phrase, “Winter is Coming” is iconic. It's a warning, a call to be vigilant— to prepare now, for the Winter-like harshness that is to come.
And yet: we need the harshness, too. How? Winter is an important season for trees, to enable them to be fruit-bearing. While winter may look lifeless and dormant for most plant-life, much is happening in the dark, below the surface. Nut and fruit trees (except for citrus) need a specific number of winter chill hours to regulate their growth. If a tree doesn't experience enough winter chill hours, the flower buds that will eventually transform to fruit might not open in spring, or might open unevenly.
Maybe we, too, like fruit trees, need chill hours to bear fruit. Maybe we, too, as we live into an autumn season, need to reflect on what we need to shed, surrender, let things go. Perhaps, in our winter season, when things are bleak and lifeless, in times of darkness and dormancy...much is getting ready to happen. In our times of autumn shedding and winter chill-hours, what follows next is the possibility of newness: the bursting forth of the new-life of Spring; and the invincible Summer, a time of light, joy, energy.
REFLECTION QUESTION: What season are you in right now — in your work/career, within your relationships? What is helping or hindering your growth, within your "current" season?