Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Tea


I understand music has been written about the Bleak Midwinter... as well as poetry and prose.   As the winter months are well entrenched, no longer is the snowfall delightful or the cold "brisk".  It is just awfully cold and dark and icy... the sparkle of the Holiday seasons are behind and the color of spring far away to those of us who live "up north".

My heart longs for color, maybe in the form of grocery store flowers.  In this case, money can buy happiness... or at least a little spring.  Perhaps I'll take my beautiful stationary my friend Sallie sent last year, there is enough of it left to write a letter to another who needs color.

Although not to any of my family who would faint at receiving a real letter from me.  My sisters are too old to risk their health.  Hmmm...I enjoy sending letters to my grandchildren, Elisabeth or Faith would love to receive pretty floral paper in the mailbox.

Thinking of Spring and Pooh sticks...
As much as I grumble about the snow... or rather how hard it is to walk or drive on it... I love the way the freezing temperatures and deep snow work together to give me permission to hibernate.  Much like Pooh on the Blustery Day, I make a place that is warm and comfy and also like my dear Pooh... tend to put on a little more rounding of the tummy by eating too much honey (or cinnamon rolls) while not walking through the 100 Acre Woods as one should.

But that's okay, for it is expected when the winds are blowing and the cold is felt even under the flannel sheets.  We use up more calories in cold, or so I tell myself when I'm reaching for the said cinnamon rolls.  They are the food of winter, as are the soups and stews and roasted veggies and hot chocolate with tiny marshmallows and Valentine's Day candy and chocolate covered marshmallow Easter bunnies.  In my part of the world, it is often still cold while eating the ears off the bunnies.

When my late sister, Alice, moved to Dallas (yes, really... that is not a limerick), the one thing she missed the most about the Midwest was having four distinct seasons.  She would tell us this as she called my mother on Christmas Eve by the pool.  With deep respect for my southern friends, as well as those in Australia... I can't wrap my brain around swimming and Christmas.  Just doesn't fit here to us who wear down coats with fur rimmed hoods to the Holiday concerts.

So... I will try to look on the bright side while sipping hot tea and reading biography and nibbling on sliced cheese, apples, and cinnamon toast.  When it is May and I'm planting or July and I'm weeding or August and I'm harvesting...  in rain and heat... I will think fondly of January evenings curled up on the sofa, made warm by a throw and hot tea and a furry cat... and wish for Winter.  Maybe...

Just as one may as well accept the season of the year one is living, how much more we must accept (or at least work within) the season of our journey through this life.   We do all we can within the limitations, for every season has its' good and not so good... boundaries in which we find ourselves surrounded... gifts given for just that day... grace for the moment. 

I always (at least often) ask the Lord what He is teaching me, what lesson He wants me to learn within each season of life... whether darkness or sunshine.  For this one thing I have learned from walking with Him... each day is to mold and shape us into the people He wants us to become.  The winter seasons are just as valuable as the spring and to be honest... in my life... I can hear more clearly in the Bleak Midwinter seasons of the soul.

There is something about that season which draws me nearer to The One Who Created Me, when I find myself running to Him just to take the next breath.  Not so much when the journey is a season of warmth and flowers and sand at the beach... He knows that. 

He, who knows we are but dust, is also well aware we cannot live in the cold always and He "leads us beside the quiet waters" when the dark chill of the journey has had its' intended purpose and our soul begins to feel the warmth of spring.


Mrs.Rabe said...

Beautiful as always Brenda.

What a lovely thought to see that God can speak to us differently during the different seasons and seasons of life.


matty said...

I am reminded of the scripture:

Can spring be far behind??

I hold that hope for me and you on this blustery day!



Jan Hatchett said...

Oh, I agree about the seasons. Even though Georgia is my home, we are enjoying the first "real" winter that we have had in some time with snow/ice to play in. The children enjoy it so much!

It is a wonderful chance to have a season of relative rest before the heat of summer returns.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I enjoyed this post as I go through my changing seasons of life...and as a native Texan, who just had a few days of snow, I can't comprehend being snowed in for days or weeks, but I do see I really enjoy the sunshine even during the middle of winter...isn't it funny how we get use to the places God puts us!
What a creative God we serve who gives each of us such variety all over this planet and each of us different seasons of life.

Jayne said...

Very, very wise words Brenda. We need to maximise the moment, make the best of whatever season we find ourselves in, how true this is, and how often I have realised this all too late, and not seen the bounty around me. I think this might be what life teaches us along the years. Thank you for this reminder, sending warm thoughts your way! Hope it helps.


Your beautifully written words go along well with a book I am reading right now. "Spiritual Rhythm: Being with Jesus every Season of your Soul" by Mark Buchanan. You might enjoy it, as it confirms what you are speaking of here.


Fixing My Thoughts said...

Brenda, I'd say you defrosted your ponder beautifully! I agree that Jesus teaches us in all seasons, if we will but look for the lesson. Of course, your wonderful post reminds me of that well-known and beloved Bible verse: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens (Eccl. 3:1 NIV). Then verse 11: He has made everything beautiful in its time. Thanks for the splendid reminder! Bess

freetobeme - Anita said...

I'm a four season person. I love each one. Thanks for your thoughts on this. Thanks also for your comments to my blog.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post and you make a good point about the seasons.
Here in the frozen north, I downloaded a gorgeous picture of a field of daffodils as a screensaver. Cheers me up and reminds me that summer will get here eventually.
Then we can all grumble about the heat.

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Lovely Brenda...true and lovely. You have such a gift my friend...your way with words and the wise thoughts and astute observations behind them. Like you, I do believe I'm hearing Him more distinctly in this midseason of life...and am more accepting of the uncomfortable moments...seeing the bigger picture of the lesson needed to be learned (makes it all more bearable imho).
Love, good thoughts and prayers to you my friend!
P.S. I know what you mean regarding swimming pools not mixing with Christmas...something I've been dealing with for years. That being said, I am appreciating the warm weather more than I ever have before...perhaps it's the midseason I'm in! ;)

Marianna said...

As someone who moved from Indiana to North Texas I know what your sister means! We've only been here three years, with no winters warm enough for the pool. But I know from growing up in Texas that it is always a distinct possibility! Actually, this year it was nearly 80 just days before Christmas, but it had been cold before so the water was too cold without the heater. If we had heated it though we would've been able to get in and not have to worry about being cold when we got out! Texas is home, but I desperately miss the season of the midwest.