Today it was evident that there is a changing of the seasons occurring. I have been around long enough to know that the calendar says it should happen on a given day or within a given span of time, but then we all know that it will happen when it happens.
Last night was very unusual. It was a balmy and warm evening in my corner of the world. The moon has been full and the colors in the sky at sunset full of varied shades of pink and filled with beauty. Dutch and I went out and played ball and went for one more walk last night as it was clear this balmy December could not last much longer. I was struck by how grateful I felt for another day of Sunshine and warmer air as I anticipated that winter was finally about to arrive.
Sometime in the night last night, I could hear the wind was bringing in winter. The window I had left open brought in a chilling breeze, and I could see my Christmas lights shaking in my 60-foot tall evergreen as I opened my eyes to see if I could see the wind roar. I curled up and wondered how long winter would stay.
Today the wind continued, the cold feels bitter and the temperature dropped from the balmy feel of last evening to the striking cold of today. I came into the office and commented how the sky appeared angry to me, gray and thick as if it was carrying snow.
I am aware that winter itself carries a bit of dread to me. The unpredictability of how the weather will affect my staff who are on the road providing much-needed care can feel ominous as we live each day of the long winter months.
The fear that our clients feel as they are anxious about ice and falling and broken hips and wet grocery floors is always on the back of my mind as daily trips are made out and about both on the job and off the job.
I know those who worry about their heating bills due to poverty.
I know those who dread blizzards and storms because of the work of clearing snow when you can’t afford plow service or a snow blower.
I know of those whose cars do not function well in below zero temperatures or tires that slide across the ice and make driving anxiety producing and dangerous.
I know of the struggle I carry about wondering what does it mean to care for and love those in need in those very real spaces.
And sometimes in the winter there just isn’t much sunshine. I miss the brightness and the warmth of the big yellow ball.
And yet, all that being true, my friend Janet Stark took and posted a picture of the sunset on my birthday this year. On December 2, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, God’s incredible creative hand offered us this masterpiece.
Seasons are a magical and beautiful part of God’s creation in West Michigan, and I am fortunate enough to be able to experience the change that comes in its miraculous way, time and time again.
I will not let my dread of winter rob me of the opportunity to marvel at the miracle that overnight, with the roar of the wind, winter can arrive.
I will choose to embrace and enjoy winter this year!
I will seek out opportunities to support those who struggle when getting out is more difficult or cold weather affects their comfort.
I will snow blow for neighbors and strangers and bring joy to others on cold and miserable days.
I will end each day thanking God for the invitation to see His hand, and I commit to living generously in what I can bring to others every winter day.
And I won’t start the countdown until Spring until the first of February. 🙂