Squinting to See the Sun
Last Wednesday I went for a walk. It took me an hour and a half, and by the end of it I wished I had been wearing shorts. The ground was having a little trouble deciding whether it was liquid or solid. The trickle of water which usually runs along the far side of our driveway had become a torrent warranting the designation of "brook." Also, it sounded as if all the birds in the county had gathered there and were warbling and chortling their hearts out. I felt just about as happy.
I was less happy about the same walk in January when we hadn't had any snow yet. The birds were, too, I think, because it felt like April, but there was definitely no chortling going on. But now we've had the requisite hard freeze and snowstorms, and so 70-degree weather made me feel like skipping and flailing my arms around (which is what I used to do as a child whenever I felt particularly jubilant).
Of course, it snowed again two days later, and the snow was so heavy that everyone's going around talking about how sore they are from shoveling and how we wish spring would come, even though we have to confess that we had a relatively easy winter. (Except for Valentine's Day. That snowstorm traumatised me for life, I think.)
I like that Lent straddles winter and spring. Everything's cold and dark and ashen, and a little disappointing. You hope to goodness that you don't have to resign yourself to this. You hope winter's going to end. I feel like I've been in suspense about a lot of things lately--or in some cases my whole life: wondering if I'll ever get married, wondering when my friends will love Jesus and let Him love them back, wondering when I'll have more of His attitude, wondering if I'll ever be able to afford a house of my own. And then the news comes that I'm getting a book published. And then we have a 70-degree day in the middle of snowstorms. And then after the snowstorms the sun comes out and the icicles start crashing off the roof. And then I remember that Resurrection Day is coming.
But like I implied in January and on Pancake Day, I don't think I'd notice the sunrise and the warmth if it hadn't been a little dark, first. I don't think I would know I needed to hope if everything had been flawlessly beautiful to begin with. And I don't think I'd feel like chortling or singing or flailing my arms around if I hadn't first felt I was dying.