He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. Daniel 2:21
I walked into the office this afternoon to find a first grade boy wearing a paper headband and smiling.
“Why are you wearing a headband?” I asked.
“I was in a play!” He said; his eyes swallowed up by his grin.
“What was your play about?” I asked with curiosity.
“It was about a king who had to decide what season was best!”
“What did he decide?”
“In the end, he decided that all seasons have their place in their time.”
This winter was ugly. It did something piercing to my soul. Precious plans were cancelled much to my disappointment. Howling wind made my house shake. My fireplace had to stay on far too long and it seemed to bring little comfort. I found myself in the depths of seasonal depression sobbing on my floor. I still have haunting memories of eating disgusting leftovers out of my fridge on days where school was cancelled for days on end.
It was a season of saying unexpected goodbyes. One close friend let me know of his resignation. While I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, someone who’s been in my life for over a decade announced her retirement and another decided to move out of state. All of this has left my head spinning, my heart heavy, and my eyes full of tears.
It was also a season of firsts.
Come on, who has ever heard of a polar vortex before now? Suddenly, it’s become part of the meteorologist vernacular.
It’s the first time ever I’ve seriously wondered why in my 18 years living in my parent’s household they never thought of packing up our family and moving to someplace warm. The Hills have been here for generations. I don’t get it.
I also don’t get long range forecasts. I studied them this winter like the Bible. When was the sun coming? On the first of Never.
Is winter really beautiful? Do all seasons really have their place?
I started to feel a little better as Daylight Savings Time approached, but it wasn’t until this weekend that I began to really come alive.
My parents own a cabin in Nisswa, MN and I have great hopes that heaven will be something like it. It’s on a little lake with the sweetest next door neighbors you’ve ever met. It’s a quaint little cabin, nothing too fancy, but that in itself is an invitation to remember:
· You really can put down your e-mail and work for a weekend and exchange it for a to-do list that includes napping and reading for fun.
· There are days when time doesn’t matter except that it is 5:00 somewhere.
· The best dinner is a burger on the grill and ice cream afterwards at The Chocolate Ox.
· There’s more to hear in the background of your life than the grrr of a snowplow or your neighbor’s barking dogs: you can go to sleep serenaded by the spring peepers and wake up to a chorus of birds.
· Summertime and sunshine do exist. Light can bathe your skin with warmth that fills you with hope—for once the Vitamin D pills can be left alone. Your workout can take place outside. Your body can sweat as it moves through the fresh air.
· Family is precious. Watching the next generation of little Hills spend the whole day in their swimming suits enchanted by the lake is a sight to behold: giggles at the feel of a flopping minnow in their hands, smiles spread wide across their faces while going for a boat ride with Grandpa, and bending down low off the dock to fill their buckets with enough water to make a sand castle.
· Evenings can be filled with bonfires and stories. After the kids go to bed the adults can sit up and snack while playing cards. We can crack jokes, make memories, and laugh and laugh and laugh.
Maybe the first grader I ran into today in the office was right. Every season does have its place in its time. I don’t like our winters. But this one, as particularly painful as it was, made me grateful for the summer days that lie ahead. Happy Summer everyone!