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Posts Tagged ‘Spring’

springWhat was that?

I stilled my breathing, listening beyond the thunder of the furnace.

There it was, again. It’s the sound of birds singing the dawn chorus.

I opened the window to hear more clearly.

This was the first morning I have heard it, and though it was just one bird, it’s morning return lifted my face, my heart.

I awoke with nothing, the well was empty of words of hope and life, and here it was … music to my ears, theology for my soul.

” the time of the singing [of birds] is come …”
Song of Solomon 2:12

Spring is coming,

and spring always follows the winter.

The winter may be cold, and snow-filled, and dark.

Your winter may be heavy with burden, heart-ache, and despair, with little light to shine the way through.

But spring always follows the winter.

” the time of the singing [of birds] is come …”

 

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Every year, every winter I wait for that special time in February. This past weekend seemed to be that one.

It is the time in February that reminds those of us, in the Pacific Northwest, that winter will end, that spring is just around the corner.

As I worked around my property, cleaning up debris, fallen from the giant trees, with each winter wind, I was seeing the signs of spring. New growth on the roses, the hydrangeas, the other shrubs and trees. New life pushed up through the dirt, from daffodil, crocus and hyacinth bulbs. Inches of winter growth on boxwoods and cedars. Flowers on the snowdrops and violets.

With each discovery I could feel my heart lighten … the promise of winter’s end was coming true! Hope for the season of spring was becoming a reality.

At times, this past winter, I wondered if it would ever come to an end. The rain, the dark days, the dampness in the air, the various shades of green … in the forests, on cement, houses and roofs. I was ready to pull my hair out in depressed frustration! I was even considering a trip away … to the East Coast, where at least the fifteen foot snowdrifts are bright white (and their multiples snowstorms have resulted in school cancellations … but, I digress).

Pacific West Coast winters are the bane of my existence!

But, on a warm and sunny February day, covered in dirt from head to toe,

I realized that,

once again,

by His grace,

I have obtained what was promised

… what always comes after a time of patience and enduring …

God’s promise.

It is as true for any trial,

for any sadness that rains down on us,

for any dark season that we might have to pass through,

as it is for the change of seasons.

God’s promise of change will be obtained.

The light will come, after a season of the dominance of the dark.

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This past weekend the time sprung ahead one hour, causing all sorts of sleep issues for everyone who must live our lives by the movement of clocks.

One mom said,

“I love this time change … said no parent ever.”

b99fd3b64e2c2ec300b72a01b07b1d54But all is not dire when it comes to the approach of spring!

Just this weekend the sun felt so warm.

The snowdrop bulbs are in full bloom in my garden.

Daffodil and Hibiscus and tulip plants are coming through ground.

Grass is growing.

Buds are forming on the flowering fruit trees.

Kids played on the streets until 7:00, when the sun sunk below the horizon.

Just last week, as I let the beast out for her morning bladder emptying, I was serenaded by the dawn chorus of the birds in the trees surrounding our house. Their music drawing me onto the deck to absorb it straight in to my soul.

A few years ago we (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’) moved two Forsythia trees from a hill in the front of our house to a raised section in the back. They are perfectly situated to observe and appreciate from our dining room table. As a lover of the awakenings of spring, I have been known to say, on a daily basis,

“have you seen the yellow trees are blooming?”

Hubby and kids roll their eyes, or finish my statement before I am able to complete it. It has become an ‘inner circle’ joke, that will, one day, be remembered with laughter when I am long gone. And I am okay with my memory being connected with the new growth and blooming of such a free spirited and beautiful tree.

Sometimes I marvel at the newness of spring, in the midst of the Easter and Lent season. A season when things that have long died, come alive with beauty, newness and hope of the days to come. A parallel on Earth, to that which Easter represents … a dying so that life might come again.

Spring is coming!

Though the time change this weekend pushed the sun’s rise until later in the morning, I know that in no time at all, I will again awaken to light filtering in through the bedroom windows. That is the hope that spring provides.

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2bc3abe82665c398b6122684f92840b1As I was writing this post, I was reminded that I had written something similar about the way I was feeling once before, and when I searched through my posts what I found was a post called https://itsawonderfilledlife.net/2012/04/12/the-day-i-wanted-to-run-away/. What I thought that was interesting was that it was written almost exactly one year ago … to the day. Maybe this ‘feeling’ is a new form of Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Another spring day, and another restless heart.11bd7c4a29807b4148a15098f7b39665

This time, though, I was not so much desiring to run away as I was desiring something fresh, something new, something … more.

It is a restless heart that reminds me I am not easily satisfied, or content, with life as it is … a condition that makes being married to me, or living with me, no easy thing!

It is when I am restless that I most desire change on a big scale.

I desire to quit my job, change my job, change my career, go back to school …

I desire to renovate our home, or sell our home and move to a much cheaper condo, a fixer-upper, a rental …

I desire to diet, run, start an exercise program, eat more chocolate …758ba8d2ec6f00e890924954018323ee

I desire to spend more time with hubby, with friends, with my kids, alone …

I desire to move to a new house, a new city, a new life …

I desire … more.

It is when I am experiencing this restless heart that status quo is more boring, annoying, depressing …

I echo the words of Vivien Leigh, who said, “I cannot let well enough alone. I get restless. I have to be doing different things. I am a very impatient person and headstrong.” Especially headstrong …

Then I remember … this restlessness is not all bad.

Because I am restless I am not going to be content with things as they are, I am restless because I have been created for …

MORE than this!

And in this … more … my restless heart finds … rest.

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Spring in the Bronx

Spring is sprung,
Duh grass is riz;
I wonder where dem boidies is?

Dey say duh boid is on duh wing:
But dat’s absoid!
Duh wing is on duh boid!
Anonymous

Tomorrow is the first day of spring, 2013!

When I read the words to the above poem, I read them hearing the voice (and accent) of Archie Bunker!

I used to hear this poem from various relatives when I was a child. Sometimes, though, instead of reciting “I wonder where dem boidies is” I would hear, “I wonder where dem flowers is?” This was perhaps because I grew up in the Northeast, where “dem flowers” were still buried by many feet of snow on the first day of spring.

hyacinthFor my adult years spring is not marked by a date on the calendar, but by the presence of planted bulbs in pots at the grocery store.

As an adult, a planted hyacinth was often the gift of my maternal grandmother, Nanny. It was always purple (even though the color could barely be discerned when she purchased it), her favorite color. It was always a strong, heady scent that emerged, almost before it bloomed.

That scent, the perfume of the hyacinth flower says, ‘spring’ to my soul.

As a child it was the scent of mud that said spring to me. The winter’s snow would melt, allowing the warming sun to thaw the frozen earth. It would soften and cake our boots and shoes, causing the most ‘earthy’ scent to rise to our nostrils. Causing our thoughts to drift to warmer days, warmer activities.

This new sign of spring, that of the hyacinth scent, also takes me to warmer thoughts. Thoughts from my childhood days with my grandmother. Thoughts of taking a city bus from her home into town, to shop, and always to have lunch in a cafeteria. Thoughts of picking raspberries with her, then we would take them to her kitchen where she would make a pie from them … she made the best raspberry pie! Thoughts of her nodding off in her chair, crossword in hand, game show on the telly. Thoughts of her visiting when our oldest was still a preschooler, sitting snugly beside her, as my grandmother read her a story from a picture book … my grandmother with an uncompleted grammar school education. Thoughts of her faded Scottish brogue. Thoughts of her giggle.

The first signs of spring, the flowers in the pots, don’t take me forward to spring, they take me back, to the loving relationship I had with my Nanny.

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It was a beautiful day for a walk on my favorite trail, with my beast. A little podalic (things pertaining to feet πŸ˜‰ ) therapy!

I felt as though it had been forever since we had the freedom for this most favorite activity, and that my fuzzy brain cells were calling out for it.

For a change, we did not speed walk. Instead it was a leisurely wander through the trails, taking in all of the details of change that spring brings along the path. Even my beast seemed unbothered by the change in pace.

As I started to walk, I exhaled. The kind of exhale that says, I need to purge my mind of all that is within it, of all that is overloading it. To purge it, though, means to first acknowledge all that is being, mentally, held on to.

I had been preoccupied about my husbands job security, and how that affects everything about our family’s life. I had been thinking about what I want my professional future to look like. About our eldest daughter’s plans to move away in the fall. About my other daughter’s summer. Wondering if we were being intentional enough with our son to build a firm foundation for the teen years to come. If we were meeting the needs of our International students , and if their presence was coming between ourselves and our own kids. Wondering about the future, about homes, and money and travel, and where our future would take us.

I was allowing my insecurities, and lack of vision of the future to hinder my ability to enjoy the present.

I stopped, and sat on a bench to enjoy the river. I thought of how the rising river made it fit it’s banks so much better than it had a couple of weeks earlier. On the other hand, the rising river could also mean impending doom for people whose homes or businesses are near the river. The future of the rising river is unseen.

Then I thought of my Magnolia tree, that is ready to burst into full flower. It will not bloom, though, until those hard, ugly shells open up with the pressure of the petals to burst free. Those hard, boring, ugly shells have kept the beauty hidden and safe, while they grew and prepared to show themselves in spring. If I did not know what is unseen, I might pluck those ugly shells off of them. But, because I know of the beauty that is currently out of sight, I wait for the beauty within to open up.

Then I looked at my beast, who had just plopped herself down on a bunch of dandelions. She has no insecurities in this world. She looks to me, as her co-master, and trusts that, although her bowl might get empty, it will be refilled again. She is not worried about much of anything (other than an intruder on the property, like a cat, or squirrel, or stray leaf blowing in the wind), because she trusts that as long as her masters are near, her needs will be met, because her masters care for her.

I realized that true beauty and true security do not come from what we know, or from what we can see. I remembered the words of 2 Corinthians 4:18, “so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

My brain cells are still a bit fuzzy, and I am still concerned about some of the aspects of life that endanger my understanding of security, but, I know that what is unseen might just be the most beautiful thing to come, and that I can be confident of how much my master cares for me, and this gives me fresh air to inhale.

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As my two week Spring Break comes to a close, I feel refreshed and ready to return to work, and schedules, and earlier mornings (after all there ARE only nine more work days until a four day weekend … but, whose counting? πŸ˜‰ ). When the break began, all I desired was a weekend away with hubby, regular walks on my favorite trail, and time with each of my kids.

It began slow, well no, it began busy, with a weekend full of activity for both hubby and I (church related). Once hubby’s time off began, four days into mine (really his time off began with him doing a full day of work-related paperwork 😦 ), I finally had time to get much needed groceries. To me, time off is not really time off until we are all off!

I had a delightful luncheon with a dozen lovely ladies, and three coffee dates with some of the sweetest women I know. Moments that refuel and encourage me, as a woman struggling to understand life.

There was the morning (oh yes, the entire morning) of ironing … it had not been done since September … sigh). There was the search for fabric for my daughter, that led to a five hour storage closet cleaning, ten bags of goods to the thrift store, and many giggles by my daughter over the photos of yours truly and hubby way back in the days leading to our wedding. Giggles that led to conversations about life, and hopes, and dreams.

There was a haircut, and lunch with my eldest daughter. There was a lunch and thrift store shopping day with my younger daughter. There was a movie date with my son. Moments with each of my kids, with no other disruptions, refills my momma heart like no other.

There were the deaths of two co-workers moms. There was the death of the fifty year old husband and father of six, two of his daughters are friends of my daughters. Moments that make you thankful for the mercy of another day.

There was more cleaning, and more purging, and more trips to the thrift store to dump another load. Another reminder of how much we have that we do not use, do not need … what I really NEED in my life should last longer than a trend?.

There were walks on my favorite trail. Walks in the sun, the rain, the snow and the hail (and that was just one day!). There were walks with hubby, with our Chinese son, with a daughter, and always with my beastie. Walks that refresh me from the inside out, walks that remind me of my Creator, and how fine His handiwork is.

There was the day of culinary therapy … something that my household was thrilled with the results of! How wonderful to create something(s) that I can watch others take delight in!

Then there was the Passion (Passion 268) concert featuring two great musicians, who led a sold out Rogers Arena in worship to God, and a calling to end human trafficking. Although I am a generation beyond their organizers intended attendee, I was reminded again, that we are all responsible for what we do, or do not do, to end such a horrific thing as use and abuse of fellow human beings.

And then there was my birthday, a delightful day when the sun was bright, and I was celebrated for my thirty-nine (with, now, four years experience) years, by family and friends, near and far.

Somehow, when when hubby and I are busy we function like a well oiled machine, but once the calendar is more cleared, the cracks in our relationship show a need for more oil, more attention, and a going deeper than “what does your day hold?” conversation. This resulted in a beautiful twenty-four hours away, to a beautiful, waterfront Hotel, where we watched the sun set at night, and the horizon lighten in the morning. A good reminder of what we already knew, but life can keep you from if you succumb to it’s demands, that time spent alone, as husband and wife, is the best thing you can do for your kids, for your health, and even for your ability to do your daily work. Lesson learned, and our next getaway is in the planning stages!

It has been a wonderful break. One that has refreshed my body, mind and spirit, refueled me for the days to come, and one that has given me much needed variety and options each and every day.

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