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The In Between

What do you do when reality doesn't seem to match the current season?

Many times these days, I find myself in my muddied boots, staring into the sunset, and pondering the "in between." When you have a science-y brain, you live in patterns. As I get into the rhythm of this growing season, I vividly remember what last year was like as this year unfolded. I compare and contrast the differences.

(Silver Spotted Skipper March 27, 2023 | Silver Spotted Skipper March 28, 2024)

Seriously, not only do I remember what plants and butterflies I saw around this time, and I find myself anxiously waiting to see things grow and manifest at certain milestones, but I also remember my struggles and what life was like then and now. I'm amazed at what one year can do all around.

For example, last year I saw my first Monarch up close in late March, so I bought Milkweed (the plant they need to survive) last Fall and scattered more seeds starting in February. I remember how harsh the summer heat was last year, so I started WAY early. To put it plainly, I know what landmarks I want to hit this time around, so I find myself anxiously preparing for them.

Monarch Butterfly, or Danaus plexippus, spotted on Thistle near the Bayou in 2023. Common White Milkweed waking up in Spring 2024.

Every year since I started this pollinator hobby, I track the Monarch Migration for both Fall and Spring through Journey North. As soon as I have an inkling that they've reached Northeast Louisiana where I live, I make time to explore the fields of wildflowers near me in hopes of seeing early arrivals. When you know what you're anticipating, and want it bad enough, you learn to prepare for it.

They often say to fail to plan is to plan to fail. It's so true. The Bible even says, "Faith without works is dead." When you truly are convinced of something, faith will cause you to move your feet. I'm convinced through experience that I will see butterflies in March/April if I'm in the right place at the right time, so I intentionally put myself in those spaces. To believe I will see butterflies and then choose to never step outside would not make sense, would it?

And so, much like these late March/early April days where we're finally past the cold temperatures, or so it seems, but it's not consistently hot life parallels that. I'm in the "in-between" season where I'm waiting to see the bloom, or physical manifestation, of so much work I've put in. I know I can expect the bloom because I've spent my time planting and watering the seeds. My faith led to action.

When you have the spirit of expectation, you plan differently, you move differently, and you see the world differently. You lock into your purpose and spend less time on detours.

The "in-between" doesn't last always, and the seasons do eventually change for good. Until the in-between passes, you must choose to intentionally place yourself in the waiting room. You can't give in or give up when time seems to be ticking by and you seem behind schedule. Nature knows no time but the right time, and so does God.

There's hope though. While you wait on "THE THING," whatever that is for you, God will still send some things along the way to sustain you. While I still wait to get my first Monarch picture for this growing season, I've been blessed with so many other visits, like this of this female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, one I had not seen before. Is this still not a good thing just because it's not THE THING for me, yet?

Of course it is.

If you find yourself in the in-between today, stay in the waiting room. Remember your time is coming. Find hope in the smaller things.

"There are always flowers for those who want to see them."
-Henri Matisse

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