An Awww-some Winter Spark

What good is the warmth of summer

without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?
~John Steinbeck

This quote can be taken quite literally right now in middle Missouri. In the past few days, our temps have, once again, plummeted to single digits (or lower) and wind chills in the -20F range. Right about now, summer’s warmth is looking pretty darn sweet.

This quote can also be taken metaphorically in that is raises the question of how can we appreciate the blessings of life (warmth of summer) without experiencing the cold harshness of trials and suffering? I think it’s hard not to take life’s blessings for granted unless we experience life without them. Granted, some trials are blessings in disguise….maybe all trials are….but without a smoother road to compare them against, we never appreciate the times when life is less bumpy and stress-free.

I’ll give an example. Entrepreneur was diagnosed with renal cell cancer in 2014. He had a kidney removed December of 2014, and a tumor in his brain removed February of 2017. Although he’s adapting to his “new normal” with the oral chemo every day, he’s now acutely aware of how sweet life is. Would he feel the same if he’d not experienced the cold, sobering reminder that our life in this world is finite? Or, like so many of us, would he feel a bit complacent about life….assuming there are decades to live out hopes and dreams instead of possible only months or a few years?

Yin and Yang. There’s always a counter balance to everything in life. I pray we all will experience the warmth of the summer and enjoy the blessings God gives us every day. But, I’ll always wonder if those wonderful things in our lives become that much sweeter because we have the counter balance that causes us to be that much more appreciative.

To go along with these thoughts, I also found a quote from Mark Twain that is awesome as well:

What is joy without sorrow? what is success without failure? what is a win without a loss? what is health without illness? you have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. there is always going to be suffering. it’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.

Annie at McGuffy’s Reader hosts a blog hop every Monday called Sparks. I’m finding that reading everyone’s “Sparks” is one of the highlights of my week. Her philosophy its simple:

The negative energy in the world has become thick and oppressive. Social media has become a part of this dark, negative storm. There is an obvious universal need for more positive energy and peace. And, we can all be part of this affirmative change.

Also blog hopping with Sandee’s Awww Mondays over at Comedy Plus.

14 thoughts on “An Awww-some Winter Spark

  1. I think you are right in that we appreciate more the good after we’ve experienced the bad. We might need that little jog (or big bump) every now and then to remind us that it could always be worse, and to appreciate the sweet taste of the good times.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It takes the cold and uncomfortable to really enjoy the summer. I so agree.

    That bird is so Aw. We love birds. We feed the hummingbirds and all the other birds that live here.

    Have a fabulous Awww Monday and the rest of the week. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve learned over the years that life’s lows make me more and more appreciative of the highs, as well as it’s taught me to not take things for granted. Everything that we enjoy can be taken away in a snap. This is something the me-me society fails to get. They feel so priviledge that when disaster strikes they fall to pieces, crying about life not being fair, blah-blah-blah, instead of thinking, WOW, I really had it good; whenever I get out of this mess then I’ll sniff the roses longer because I don’t know when the blooms will fade away next. I, too am trying to learn to not complain about the cold or the hot because there’s a season for all things and they pass by quickly. DH reminded me last summer to savor the heat and humidity for it’ll be winter soon enough and he was right. Even now during these frigid days of winter, I’m trying my best to not wish these days away for warmer, sunnier skies but I’m human and I catch myself. I remind myself there are others who live in far worse climates and so I feel God’s blessings surround me. Thank you for sharing such beautiful encouragement for us to look now for these blessings instead of waiting until disaster hits our life.. Have a good week and thanks for visiting. I hope y’all are keeping warm!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the quote Lisa, both literally and symbolically! I’m one that LOVES winter (the freezing cold and snow), however, I don’t think I would appreciate it as much if it weren’t for the other four seasons; especially summer, which I don’t like. I think there is a reason for the change of each season.

    I also love your example using Entrepreneur, because you are spot on about that. I too went through this two years ago when I was in the hospital for the first time in my life; not knowing what the outcome would be. That experience, however scary it was, thought me to “see” things that I took for granted. Even now, I still think of it and feel forever grateful for what I have.

    Inspiring post, my friend. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That is life ~ ‘can’t have the joy without the sorrow’ ~ whatever words one uses ~ lovely post to reminds us of the daily gift of life ~ with the good and not so good ~

    Happy Weekend coming to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Awww Mondays & Sparks – Comedy Plus

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