Today we had a blackberry winter day…cold, cloudy, a reminder that winter may not be over. After being in the 70s and 80s, it was a harsh throw back. In the South we call it blackberry winter because it is the last freeze before the blackberry bushes begin to bloom and fruit. Anything you put outside my get nipped as the temperature crashes to near freezing. I think it is God’s reminder that we are not in charge.

It’s hard to be cold again as we have gotten used to Spring temperatures. Flowers are blooming, plants and bulbs are breaking free of the soil and showing their intentions. Birds are building nests and our cats have been frolicking in the yard. When we had to turn back on our heat, everyone had a hard time facing more winter. 

I think that is true about anytime we see progress, then get thrown back three of four steps. It is hard to move toward the goal, then feel denied or delayed by circumstances beyond your control. The real trick is staying positive in the face of a set back. Being able to see a glimmer of hope when you feel like you are failing is a hard emotion to muster. Yet during all this cold, feeling brisk wind and cold toes…hope is still alive. Spring will come. The flowers will bloom. The birds will have thier babies and the cats will again play in the yard. When you face a setback, the key is to not let it be your permanent mental state. Let it be a momentary dip like blackberry winter…and know that hope will triumph and Sprring will arrive. By enduring the cold of blackberry winter we are rewarded with yummy blackberries.