Too cold, too warm
A Lesson in Seasons
We've had a couple of very unseasonably and unreasonably warm days this past week. It is deep winter, so thoughts of the garden did not cross my mind until a friend mentioned how she had been working outside during the cold and thereby freezing her fingers in the post-frozen soils of her garden beds, when, had she but waited, she could have done all that in these unusual balmy days of December.
Oh. I thought. I should have been working in the garden. Missed my chance! But, unlike my friend, I don't plan to care for the garden during the months of cold. I consider this time to be "months off," when both the garden and I rest and prepare to take the deep breath needed before charging in to the early spring tasks of cleaning and preparing the beds and setting up grow lights in the mud room. I look out the windows toward the gardens and feel no draw--no desire to get out and get dirty. I do an occasional walkabout, and merely shrug at the weeds and twigs and all manner of thing that could be accomplished. I'm on short day mode, semi-hibernating, and happy here.
But I know all that will change when the time is right...when the lengthening days flip a switch in my soul and call me out. The process echoes the wisdom of the book of Ecclesiastes (or, if you prefer, the song by the Byrds.) There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
The hard part is recognizing the seasons, and how sometimes I push on an issue out of time. Like my friend who reaped frozen fingers in her garden, I seek an unsanctioned vision, and find myself at best spinning my wheels, or at worst, shutting off whatever grace there would have been in that direction. That's my gentle way of saying I damage my own walk. It's so hard to rest...to rest...to rest. To rest involves trust, an inhuman level of trust that we are indeed called to, but cannot accomplish in our own strength and inclination. There is such joy there, such peace. The place where our wheels no longer spin, both outwardly in our material efforts, or inwardly, in our pattern of self-condemnation.
My hope for you, as for all of us, is that this new year find you resting in the pure life of your Creator and delighting in the wisdom of the seasons.
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