I spent a few days at some meetings in Cape Town recently. Whenever I fly into Cape Town, I choose a window seat so that I can enjoy the scenery as the plane heads into the Western Cape. It’s particularly beautiful at this time of year, especially if there is snow on the mountains.

Every time I head into Cape Town during the Winter I am struck by the difference in climate between the Western Cape and the interior of South Africa. While Jo’burg is dry and brown in Winter, Cape Town is green and well watered (especially as it continues to recover from the recent drought ). Of course, the reverse is true in Summer. While the hot winds blow in Cape Town and dry everything out, Jo’burg enjoys the afternoon thunder showers and looks lush and beautiful.

The other day, as I flew into Cape Town, I couldn’t help but think about how different Winter can be, how different it can look, depending upon where we find ourselves.

Winter doesn’t look the same everywhere.

Winter seasons look different for each of us.

In our competitive and social-media driven culture, we can often wonder why we are enduring a Winter, while everyone else appears to be enjoying the long, lazy days of a never-ending Summer!

And even when our friends experience a Winter, why does their Winter look better than ours? 

“They seem to handle their life so much better than I do.”

“Their Winter doesn’t seem so dark and cold and dry!”

“Why can’t my Winter look more like a Cape Winter? Green and lush and well watered!”

I think that asking for Winter to look a certain way in our lives is to miss the point. A better use of my emotional energy is to remind myself of the purpose of Winter, whatever it may look like.

Winter has a purpose: to prepare the atmosphere for new life. Spring.

And in the dark mornings of winter, I have to remind myself that there is a purpose to this cold, dark season.

I have to remind myself that Spring is on the way.

New life.

Being prepared.

Even now, in the Winter.

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