I never understood the full symbolism of winter until I moved to Rochester. I grew up in a place where it got plenty cold, but usually for just a few days or a week at the most. Even when we were bundled in our winter coats the sun was shining almost every day, and snow […]

I never understood the full symbolism of winter until I moved to Rochester. I grew up in a place where it got plenty cold, but usually for just a few days or a week at the most.

Even when we were bundled in our winter coats the sun was shining almost every day, and snow was an excuse to stay home by the fire and throw snowballs with the neighbor’s kid.

Winter was just a break from mowing the grass and watching for rattlesnakes. It wasn’t anything I thought about enduring or rushing through until I had my first late February and early March here, when spring and rebirth couldn’t come fast enough.

I was desperate to go outside without gloves, to see some sign of life coming out of the soil – to finally have light and warmth.

Now, I understand when people say they are living through winter in their lives. I know about darkness and gray. I know how snow and bills and medical concerns can pile up and block your view.

I know how it can look like the end.

In the Christian tradition we’re beginning to celebrate Lent this week and we’ll follow along in our scriptures as Jesus ministers, is adored by the crowds and then faces his own winter, his own suffering and death.

His followers were, of course, unsure what to do. Worried about their own safety. And so very sad and heartbroken. But scripture tells us that on the third day some of the women who were closest to Jesus went to his sealed grave and found that the stone – the one specifically chosen because it was so difficult to move – had been rolled away and Jesus had risen from the dead.

Spring and light had come after all.

As we prepare for Easter this year, my prayer for us is that whatever heavy boulders are blocking new life will be rolled away.

Self doubt.
Fear.
Pride.
Addiction.

May it all be moved so we can be alive and free.