I won’t lie. I’m not a big fan of winter. The cold crispness, the icy chill, the gray bleak sky, the short days, and the silence just seem to get to me. By late January, I’m aching to see something green, put my hands in the soil, and feel the sunshine on my face.
Spring isn’t here yet. Today, that’s quite evident as it is cold and dreary. Still, if you look very closely you’ll see it.
I sent the kids out a few days ago (when it was unseasonably warm) to search for signs of spring. Armed with their learning journals and a pencil, they went exploring. Wish I had pictures, but I was too busy sitting in the sun.
When they returned, they shared their treasures with me. There were pictures of tiny little daffodils shooting up from the earth. A few ants marched across the page. A tree demurely showed it tiny little buds. The new, green grass hid among last year’s brown blades. What an adventure they had!
Since then, the kids’ eyes are open wide to the changes happening all around them. Mary spotted some geese in their beautiful V as they were flying north. Sarah noticed the swollen buds on the dogwood tree waiting to burst forth with it’s flowers. Daniel heard strange noises one evening while locking up the chickens. Upon investigating a bit, I found that he had heard a bat fly by.
It’s amazing what we miss when we aren’t looking for something. The other day, I walked past the front step of our house several times without seeing what was hiding, trapped by fear of our mighty cat. Mary came to the door and asked me to come outside and help her. I was so surprised to see a beautiful blue bird hiding just out of the cat’s reach. Eric helped us rescue it and move it to a tree out in the field. We are all hoping it will fare better in the future.
Vision is a funny thing, isn’t it. Sometimes we don’t see something unless we are looking for it.
God gave us such beauty to enjoy. Looking out my window at the brown and dreary meadow, it would be easy to miss. Late winter isn’t flamboyantly beautiful like the other seasons. I’ve never really appreciated the understated nature of the season. I’m seeing so many things I’ve missed before. I never knew winter could hold such amazing and subtle joys.
If I could have missed all this beauty, what else am I missing? Am I seeing the true beauty of the world and the people in it? Are my eyes open enough to see all this beauty? Is my heart big enough to contain all the love and beauty that is out there if I’ll just look for it? I’m praying that God will keep working on me, opening my eyes and my heart to this world and it’s people. It’s so beautiful. Just beautiful.