Buds rise quiet and swell on the branch. It’s the first week of March, everything and everyone is anxious for spring. Some days it’s already been in the low 70s, sunny and warm, and the next day it’s back in the 30s. It’s still technically winter, but spring presses in, trying to burst forth.
It seems like a fitting analogy for my own season. For this wait. Last weekend we packed our home into a large box, essentially, and closed it up, everything on hold for now until we close on our home at the end of this month. We moved our bare necessities into my parent’s home nearby and have moved in with them for the interim. Such wild grace to us, this welcome mat extended to our family, the carving out of space and sharing of everything so that we can walk through this transition with as much normalcy as possible. Because we are here with them, my mom has been helping out even more than normal with my day-to-day tasks. She watched the kids while I went for a run the other morning–such a gift to a momma who normally squeezes in my workouts in the house during the kid’s nap time (necessary but terribly boring sometimes). It does my soul good to get out on a quiet trail and have the solitude of the woods. As I was running, enjoying the movement of feet and legs, the filling and emptying of lungs, the way the wind sounds moving through winter limbs and pines, I was aware of a hush of waiting. I don’t know really how else to describe it, only that I felt my own soul’s wait as I felt the natural world waiting in the dormancy of winter for spring. Everything is still alive, though it has the appearance of death. Everything is holding life though it has the appearance of barrenness. But the life cycle demands that death and dormancy must happen so that new life can burst forth.
We resist our own winters. We resist periods of death and dormancy and waiting. We resist pain of any sort, of course. Yet it is good to remember that it is necessary, this winter, so that spring can come. And spring will come.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
We are in this beautiful and awkward season of in-between. Our home packed up, waiting for the word that this home we have been working toward will in fact be our own. We haven’t shown the home to the children yet. They’ve ridden out this transition well, but not without some tears and questions and some “I wanna go home!” Meanwhile we are in a period of waiting for answers on Phoebe’s health. She is nearing the end of this three month elimination diet, and soon we will do more blood work and likely another endoscopy. All around the same time as our closing on the home and moving in.
How appropriate it seems, that our own family story would coincide with the seasons, the melting of winter into spring. I can’t help but also think of this lenten season, the time during the church calendar when we remember Jesus’ death and sacrifice for us so that we may that much more enjoy and celebrate the resurrection (Easter).
So we embrace this season of holy hush, the waiting, the discomfort of it, because we know that our own spring is coming. All of the details of our story may not work out perfectly and our circumstances may continue to prove difficult, but we know that somehow God will be faithful to us and will provide all that we need.
And so we carry on. We receive the gifts of this winter season as it comes to an end. We enjoy this special time with my parents and sharing life together. We keep on with school, with our piles of library books, with knitting and other little family rhythms. The kids find new trees to climb and places to make a fort. We look for the early signs of spring, the blooming forsythia, the green pressing up through soil. We pay attention to the birds, noticing how gladly they sing.