Every spring I greet the warm sunshine like a long-lost friend and I wonder how I made it through another winter. In summer, winter seems like a bad dream. And when fall sets in I always brace myself for the inevitability of the ever-approaching frozen season.
But when winter actually arrives I am surprised by my own maturity. There may have been times in the past when I curled up in a ball under a blanket and refused to come out, but that has become a rare occurrence.
Today I drove around the nearby lake and was reminded how stunningly beautiful winter can be. The trees were thickly coated with frost, with the rich brown undertones of their trunks peeking through and the lake creating an icy blue backdrop. And as I have learned with all weather, there is something comforting about the uncontrollable that affects everyone’s lives.
So I am back in the season of sweaters, jackets, scarves, boots, hot chocolate, twinkling lights, and sympathetic holiday gatherings. And I’ve realized that me and winter have come along way. I don’t hate it anymore. Our relationship is still bumpy at times, but we have fought through difficult seasons and come out stronger. And I think that I value winter because it has taught me so much about myself and life. I have come to value winter because it is not easy.
Some of the best things in my life are the ones I’ve had to fight for, or the trials I’ve endured that have made me stronger. I like a good fight.
I have fought very long and hard for “The Creation of Jack.” It started out with a lot of promise and a lot of half-baked ideas. I knew the emotional journey I wanted for the main character, but didn’t have much of an idea of how to get there. I needed more practice with writing and a lot more life experience. It started out immature, and probably a little confusing. Five years later it became much more. Not only did I land on a manuscript that I was proud of (that still moves me to tears), but “The Creation of Jack” became a launching pad for my sequel “Into the Void”–a book that has surprised and astounded me with its ambition, scope, complexity, and insight. I think it is the best I’ve ever written (which is what I always hope to say about my most recent projects).
So here’s to winter, and pushing through difficult seasons and difficult projects. The best things are worth fighting for and the best inspiration often comes out of the midst of the struggle.