it used to be that the joy fell with the snow
accumulated around feet and only stuck to boots and shoes
cloud cover rolled over the once-blue, once-hopeful, canopy
and eyes turned from upward to down
while muscles in the neck became accustomed to the angle of the feet
weary and wary
each new morning, mercy though it was said, felt like one clicking time clock after the next
longing for the dreary sky to become the dark sky
the one that gave permission to lock the door and twist closed the blinds and silence the rings and alerts and the chime of the inbox
and then i could sit quietly with my thoughts, just mine
and wonder how long it would feel this way
and how i could fix it
and why it had to be so hard.
but then i read ephesians 2
because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions
and i decided that i would believe it, hope.
the days are still short
and sky still heavy, grey and so rarely blue
i wake up laughing to myself, remembering something she said or something he did
i am genuinely disappointed when i am told that yet another snow day keeps me away from the little ones who are now my responsibility
i can say with all confidence i am well. and it is well. and this response no longer changes from day to day when they ask how are you? because it is a constant.
i can laugh out loud when i forget, yet again, that speed bump that lies pregnant there between my house and the stop sign.
chasing and wrestling with the littles on sunday afternoons no longer feels like an obligation but a joy and one of the most worthy investments.
i can sit at the coffee shop, eyes heavy with that obnoxious glare of the sun through icy skies, but still with a smile, though nothing has been accomplished.
i sleep more during these months, but guilt-free
i read more while snow blankets the ground, fruitful
i listen and pray and i'm available
because things slow down now
but i see that this is a perfect design
because with the changing seasons comes a fresh awareness of the inner life, the mind, the heart, the humility, the dreams
where seasons don't change are patterns free to stay?
and growth constrained?
socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living.
i think i agree.
and think that i'll also begin to say that the changing seasons are a gift
because it demands self examination and flexibility
in a way that the always-summer could never do.
and God is fully here. i know this because joy is full and it has no reason to be apart from His nearness.