I have tried to stay in winter, cold and dormant, dark days under blankets lost in thought but spring pursued me nonetheless. The grass has greened without any effort of mine, the buds turned to leaves while I huddled on the couch. The air inside has become too warm, windows must be opened, bringing in high pitched calls of children on bikes with newly pumped up tires and the thud of balls bouncing against garage doors, the crack of bats connecting accompanied by shouts of victory and the soft splatter of chalk dumped on the sidewalk. Children know, spring is here. They recognize that days are longer, they resist going to school and wearing jackets. All that was waiting has woken, I have as well, slowly, reluctantly, not like a crocus this year ready to pop up at the first hint but more of an iris, taking time to test the air and stretch my limbs carefully into this new season.
I listen to the children in their shorts and tee shirts racing by the house, envious of the trust they so quickly put into the changes. Rushing headlong into spring, they breathe the hope and promise even before the windows have opened. Children don’t long for evidence of that faith, they don’t cling to dormancy to avoid trusting once again. Children explode into the season with popsicle stained faces before the air has fully warmed, begging for sprinklers and water balloons to cool their sweaty bodies. Hope fills their lungs at the hint of spring and they lean crash throw themselves into late nights outside for games of tag and forget homework and long school projects. Sitting on the couch, I wonder if I have ever been that child, have I ever embraced hope so fully.
A friend posted a picture of her garden already planted, I sat on the porch of another who had flowers already potted and glorious. Farmers know that spring is planting season, trusting in the assurance that summer will come with all the sun and rain and warmth needed to grow what seeds are settled into the earth. I am behind, so far behind. Why am I resisting hope this year? Why am I so reluctant to dig into the ground, to shop for my annuals, to plant and believe that what I cover with dirt will bring good things later? My heart wants to stop the seasons until my family is restored, I long to halt any more holidays without my children gathered around. Still spring arrives with lilac breezes and I cannot hold it back any longer. This is the promise of God, that faith the size of a mustard seed will grow enough to house the birds who nestle there. Thus I know God is sneaking in through my open windows with the children’s calls and the singing morning birds and the glorious sunrise, telling me to plant just the tiniest seed, allow Him to worry about the rain and sun and whether my children will come. He tells me not to notice the empty porch chairs that once held Stella’s college roommates and friends for cookouts and weekly dinners, He tells me not to focus on the extra swing awaiting my granddaughter’s giggles as she soars. Plant some seeds, the wind whispers.
It is planting time, spring is here, barrels of dry dirt beg for flowers and color. Once again I am waking up to the season, slowly accepting that God has brought a new day and another opportunity to tend to my home, trusting that He cares for the nesting robins and the sprouting bluebells and for my Arrow and Stella so far away. Days when I feel more like Job with Satan attacking, I know that I may never fully understand why I seem to keep losing what my soul holds so dearly. Yet Job trusted in God, refused to turn away from his faith, surely I am being asked to do no less. God has brought spring to me with the request that I give Him my doubts, let them melt with the last hints of snow into the earth as my daffodils rise. Okay, God, You found me, I couldn’t hide away. I will open the curtains, drink my coffee on the porch, and begin to welcome spring. Hope has arrived and it sounds like geese honking their return.