Tuesday, February 23, 2010

As Seasons Change

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? 

It seems my days are becoming more like that as the winter stretches on; no routine (or a desire to follow one), bored with a knitting project I have been working on and wishing I was finished so I could move on to the next one, and finding myself here at the computer more than I would like to be.  To make matters worse, I am stuck in every writer’s troublesome nightmare - writer’s block.  I am clearly in a rut and the seasons and the weather they bring are the culprits causing my slump.

Spring is on its way, but it has been a slow process, it seems.  To me, this past winter was  a long one.  We didn’t get a lot of snow (to some, however, three feet may sound like a lot), but we did get agonizingly cold temperatures.  A brief stint of “warmer” weather passed through in January.  The temperature actually rose above 40 degrees for almost a week.  But, Winter is a stubborn season and has returned with nighttime sub-zero temperatures again and the daytime temperature barely rises above freezing.  It is almost as though it is defying my longing for Spring, for the melting snow and that first glimpse of green poking its head from the cold dirt.  I long for T-shirt weather and to be outside raking up pine needles, cleaning up the area around the fire pit, and straightening up the mess Winter brings.  But sadly, deep snow remains and the weather that will reveal bare ground is months away.

The clouds that have hovered over our mountain valley all winter have moved on for a spell and brought gloriously sunny and blue sky days.  Although it was still below freezing, I found myself standing outside this morning, cup of tea in hand, soaking up the rays of the sun and relishing the warmth of it on my face.  I didn’t want to go back inside.  It meant that I would once again find myself wondering what to do with the day as Winter dragged on and refused to budge.

There is hope in the waning days of Winter, though.  My husband saw a flock of geese fly into the valley a few days ago.  They are a sure sign that Spring is coming.  However, I am waiting for that first blackbird, the joyous herald of warmer days to come that surges into the valley as Winter changes to Spring.  They have never failed me.  As I was reading an old devotional that I have had for almost ten years, I noticed I had written in the margin that the blackbirds had returned early two years in a row.  Because I had dated my note and knew the years they came early those particular Februarys, it lifted my spirit.  Each day I keep my ears tuned and await the sound of their anxious chirring as they return to their mountain breeding grounds.  For two weeks I have patiently waited because I know when they arrive, Winter will officially be over, the cold air will warm, the snow will melt into the earth, and life will begin anew.  

How strange it is to think that my soul is so joined with the changing seasons and the creatures that herald them.  I have been feeding peanuts to three squirrels through the window by my computer, and the small birds who dare to brave the harsh winters  here have been grateful for the suet I have provided for them. But I think God planned it that way, don’t you?  As we sluggishly linger in the doldrums of one season, He gently draws us into another.  He reminds us of the beauty and perfection of His universe and how each season holds something special for us.  And in His infinite wisdom, He created a world of changing seasons so that when we found ourselves wondering what to do with our idle time, the answer would also be given as one season moves on to the next.

I am thankful for that, Lord, for Your abounding wisdom in knowing that we needed change.  As I wait for Winter to turn to Spring, I think I will join You and watch for those blackbirds.

1 comment:

Mama Mimi (Dana) said...

I can endure anything as long as I know I am in the season of His return.