We have had a return to winter as cold winds are making their way through the Midwest. I spent the afternoon warm and cozy on the Lazy Boy, watching Wives and Daughters (must get it back to the library soon). Just the scenery alone makes me smile... much less the costumes!. :)
There is a touch of Spring in the air, those little differences that promise warm weather ahead. Last week as I walked down the gravel road in the snow, I actually heard birds singing. Normally there is an erie silence while the snow is falling and I often feel quite alone in the world even with a farm in front of me and houses surrounding ours. It was good to hear birds again. Yesterday while passing the small lake near us, I saw mallards swimming... dozens of them. (Well, Christopher pointed them out first.) We figure they must be on their way back North and stopped for a refreshing swim.
I was thinking yesterday how the memory of this weekend's cold will feel good in the heat of August. How like human nature to want the seasons to pass when we are tired of them and have need of change. It reminds me of seasons in my own life that I now look back on with fondness.
For instance, when we moved to Detroit I thought it the end of the world (I once said Detroit was the only place I wouldn't want to live and then fifteen years later there we were... hmmm... God's sense of humor?). Now I look back with such fondness on those years and remember how peaceful they were. It is easy to look back when we know how that season of life turns out.
There are other seasons we want to move through quickly... those nights with a new baby at home or a teething toddler and we have weeks upon weeks of sleep deprivation; potty training that never ends; homeschooling a child who disrupts into anger easily and doesn't "get" math; seasons when we are waiting for the "right person" or when the marriage is tense due to outward circumstances; weeks of waiting for a check or a job; praying for someone to get better... times we wish were over and then we look back as years have passed us by and it seems we've only blinked and they are gone.
I was polishing silver last week and felt sad that I no longer felt well enough to have big parties or invite friends over for dinner. As I let my mind wander (a dangerous thing to do), I missed meeting Stephanie for lunch in between college classes; picnics as a family (those loaf of bread, jug of juice, and "thou" picnics), and hiking trails with Christopher as we searched for forgotten arrowheads in nearby parks. Seasons all past...
But then I began dinner in my cozy kitchen and later curled up with a book on the sofa and looked around at the home God has given us... an amazing miracle from Him. I realized that besides the health and financial challenges... I am content. I brewed myself a little pot of Candy Cane Lane tea and took my favorite fine china rooster mug off the shelf, curled up with a book, and was quite satisfied at how nice the rooms looked (it is amazing how much one can get accomplished when one's husband is out of town for the weekend!).
I read a book by Joni Erickson Tada where she states the older she gets, the more real Heaven becomes. I agree, as seasons of life have passed from one into another, I can see where living each season in an Eternal Perspective becomes more important with each passing year. For looking back and viewing each day in the light of Eternity sheds a light in the darkness, often not seen when we were passing through them.
I can understand a bit how Paul can state that he has learned to become content in each state he finds himself in... emphasis on having learned. :)