As I was walking home the other day, enjoying the cool but fresh spring air, I began to think about the idea of winter. I looked at the ice, the snow and overall bareness of the street when it dawned on me – everything is dead. Now I’m not meaning that some form of zombie apocalypse has taken place and I am the sole survivor. I simply mean that while in the summer months there is life and energy in the environment, as flowers bud and bloom, leaves and branches in the trees expand over the roads, and grass grows long and lush, in these long winter months all that natural beauty dies and withers away. Of course, my mind would not stop there, it pushed one step deeper into the thought that perhaps winter could be seen as a metaphor (or is it analogy?) for death. Now without letting myself get into it too deeply for fear of getting lost in the details, let me elaborate. Winter is not intended to be seen as an ugly punishment that is a season. In fact if you take time to actually look, winter hold a natural beauty of its own. There is some sort of peace and calmness that settles in and surrounds every empty tree, every barren bush and every ice covered side-walk. During the summer, life flourishes and fills the warm summer breeze, but eventually the life that was once so abundant slowly fades away into the bitter cold winter air. So also people flourish with spirit and vitality throughout their life, but a time comes when that will slip away. Death may come to take the beauty in life away but it cannot take the beauty that each life leaves behind. And what would be winter without looking forward to the spring? Following each death there is opportunity for new life. Winter may be an annual reminder of death – that it is okay for things to die – it is a natural part of life. It is a reminder to appreciate what is lost, but also to look forward to what new life spring may hold.