Lasting Out the Winter

Winters are tough. It is jolting in late winter to feel, once again, the blast of cold wind as you step outside. You have to clear your sidewalk of snow, one more time—at least you hope. And you have to concentrate on your icy commute.

Winters are hard on honey bees, too. As a former beekeeper, I visited my snow-covered apiaries in late winter. I checked to see if the bees were starving. I’d tip each hive to evaluate, by weight, if the bees had enough honey to last the winter. What a loss if they starved before spring!

People have winters, too. I remember a long winter of discontent. I was depressed and frustrated. My work load was daunting. I met bad news at every turn. I felt depleted.

A friend helped me last out the winter. He asked about my health. He asked about my finances. He wondered how I was doing with God. His voice was kind, and he wanted to know.

Then he asked even more questions—helping me explore my discontent. He prodded me to think about issues I’d rather avoid. When my answers were vague, he helped me clarify.

I felt accepted and loved, part of a community. My world became bigger. I saw new possibilities. I began to hope.

Good coaching does two things.

  • Coaching tips the hive. Is there enough food to last the winter? Coaching is a safe way to face reality.
  • Coaching feeds the hive. When I found a depleted hive, I fed sugar syrup, tiding the bees over until spring. By exploring solutions and developing action steps, coaching feeds hope.


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