☕️ Seasons

A Saturday Caesura

Spring has finally settled in to stay. The snipes are back, the trees are leafing green, night temperatures are staying above zero. The sun-snow-rain-freeze-thaw-frost of the past few weeks felt too much like the in-school-online-school-open-close-isolate-vaccinate of the ongoing coronavirus season. So much tossing to and fro, back and forth, in and out. It feels like rest for spring to just. stay. put.

This past week a friend and I met in a park for an after-work picnic and overdue visit. The summer-haunted warmth of the evening mirrored our friendship, one that has found deeper roots while standing together through a particular life-storm. I love that the all-season friends in my life come from all seasons, ages, backgrounds, experiences. I am grateful that they embrace relationships in ways that promote beauty and unity in a world increasingly prone towards the ugly and divisive. It feels like a settling and a hope-sprouting spring.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and whatever else it is for me, this day usually becomes a reflection on all the seasons of motherhood. So much delight and pain wrapped up in a single role. I have regrets. I have treasured memories. I have tears. But I am grateful for this season of being a mother to adult children. It feels like a settling and a fresh-washed spring and a joy-filled grief-tinged blessing.

Tomorrow is also our 40th wedding anniversary, and if motherhood has predicable seasons as children grow from newborn to adulthood, marriage seasons come and go with regular unpredictability. We grow, storm, stagnate, forgive, compromise, love, laugh, cry, cling, withdraw, pray, pray, pray, give, cherish, for better or for worse. Forty years. Two-thirds of our lives. We are not the same people who pledged to have and to hold till death to us part all those years ago. And yet we are still uniquely us, aged and shaped by forty years of individuality and togetherness. I’m grateful for this season of continuing to grow in oneness. It feels like a settling and a long, languid summer and a rich undeserved blessing.

He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty…and fills your hearts with joy. Acts. 14:17

🌿A Paradox

On cloudless days I can see the slopes and spires of a cadre of white-robed sentinels stationed along the southwest horizon where they guard the heart of winter in their lofty fortresses of stone and ice until time to release that wild winter heart to beat full and strong, its pulse keeping time, measuring the moments that make a season which will inevitably change yet remain forever unchangeable.

From the mouths of children…

Fall has arrived all golden and cold.

On this particular day leaden skies and the bluster and bite of a north wind precipitated dressing double-double and foraging for gloves and a toque before heading out for my evening exercise routine.

I was almost home again, head down into the wind, when I encountered a boy out walking his dog. The dog eyed me with curiosity from across the street, and so did the boy. He was wearing a light-weight hoodie, hood-up mode, and held the dog’s leash in bare hands.

The boy seemed to say something to me, but I couldn’t quite make it out (probably because my ears were fully swaddled). He repeated it, a little louder.

“It sure is nice and hot today!”

Oh really? Well, sure, why not?

“Why yes. Yes indeed. It sure is!” I played along.

“Just look at the beautiful sunny sky!” he continued, gesturing towards the mass of grey hovering above us.

“Isn’t it lovely? I hope you remembered sunscreen.”

“Sunscreen?” He chuckled. “Why yes. Yes indeed. I put lots on!”

And so we continued in opposite directions, both of us resisting the newness of cold in our own way.

Both of us with hearts warmed by a playful, imaginative interaction.

Let’s do more of this, world.

Windows vs Screens

Lately, I’ve thinking, not for the first time, about how much information is being disseminated through the Internet. The barrage is never-ending and beyond impossible to absorb, yet there is an unwritten, unspoken expectation that truly informed people connect with every allusion, tweet, subtweet, hot take, meme, sound-byte, pop-cultural historical political entertainment celebrity sports THING that virals across our screens.

It’s exhausting and increasingly meaningless.

The irony that I am posting this on a blog is not lost on me. I am aware that I contribute to the meaninglessness through my likes, ‘hearts’, comments, and posts. I may be but a drop in the vast ocean, but I’m still there.

But I’m also here. Sitting in my living room, looking out the window at a stand of trees readying themselves for winter. They anchor me to the real world in which I live.

A world that has seasons of growth and decay, of struggle and strain, of harvest and abundance. Seasons that exist in elongated rather than snap-chat time.

A world that requires the slow, often hard work of building and maintaining relationships with words and actions rather than clicks and emojis.

A world that doesn’t insist that I know everything about everything and everyone, but does invite me into knowledge and truth.

The window-view nourishes where the screen-view often numbs me.

I’m grateful for windows.