Today in Minnesota we all awoke to fresh snow. Not the pretty, fun kind, but the sloppy, icy, foggy, horrible kind. The weather has been unseasonably warm, which is fine — I will take 33 degrees F over negative 33 degrees F any day — but with the warmth comes the gray, at least on the really cold days we get blue sky and sun. This winter has been simply gray on gray. And it is only January. There is so much more winter to come. Blizzards, sub-zero cold and more blizzards are still on the horizon. I remember winters when it snowed in May.
But today I woke up to this email from the Sussex County Cricket Club:
80 days. Just 80 days until the County Championship is back.
I get that that is actually a long time — almost three months — but seeing that number in print gave me a bit of hope. For while I also get that April in England probably means bone chilling damp cold and wind, I can’t help but think of green and blue and short sleeves and summer, summer, summer. Oh, glorious summer.
There’s something to be said for living in a part of the world where there are seasons. Sure, days like today are rough. And everything is just more difficult. But it always feels like you have something to look forward to, especially in the winter. No matter what, there is change on the horizon. Even if your life feels like it is stuck in neutral and you are in a bottomless rut with no end in sight, you know in your heart that a change is going to come. No matter what. A change is going to come.
Little reminders like the email this morning on this dark January day are reminders not just of cricket, or the Championship, or the summer to come, but that time is moving on, the world is moving on, and we are moving right with it, God willing, we are moving with it. And with that moving comes time, distance, growth, healing. It also might bring new heartbreak, new loss, but on mornings like today, those feel far away. Right now all I can think of is summer, and hope for the good things that it might bring a long with all the change it is going to bring. Right now, today, the cricket fields are brown, white, cold, damp and empty. In 80 days they will be full of this great old game and the people who love it, basking in what is hopefully a warm spring sun, and a field of green, and a sky of blue.
There is always change. That is apparent every time a new season begins to loom on even the most distant of horizons. And that knowledge brings hope that our lives might change right along with it. And even if they don’t. Even if we remain in the rut we’ve been in for what seems like years because it has been years, then at least we know that soon there will be short sleeves and sun on shoulders, and the gray will break into blue, and the sounds of cricket will once again fill those empty fields.
Change is always coming.