Last Saturday was the first day of fall, my favorite season officially arriving at last. I had hoped to make the day an autumnal celebration, but as is so often the case things went differently than planned. Philippa wasn’t feeling well, I had only gotten a few hours of sleep, and Brandon was working so the thought of pulling much together was exhausting. Still, I was thankful I had a few things ready beforehand so we could still make it special. The children hung a leaf banner for me on the mantle and I pulled out little baby pumpkins for them to paint, which we’ve done for a few years now. I had hoped to plant some flower bulbs around our property but couldn’t muster the energy.
For me, the coming of fall is much anticipated, bringing all its beautiful colors, crisp air, and coziness. I don’t mind winter and the cold short days one bit, in fact I crave it, but I know many people dread the long season of cold and dark. It will be my first time planting bulbs this year, and it struck me a bit poetic, planting for spring now just before winter. Planning and anticipating the season that will come because of the work of the season I’m in now. These flowers need to overwinter in the soil.
I had woken up that Saturday morning with so little sleep behind me and another long day ahead, and I was fighting discouragement. When I’m in that place, I should know better than to give much credit to my thoughts, but I was feeling overwhelmed by all I’m trying to juggle lately, I was feeling discouraged about this blog space. I feel like I have less and less time to write, which is why I primarily began blogging (a space to share everything God teaches me along the way, a place to pay attention to His presence in my ordinary days). I feel like my purpose in blogging gets muddled, and who really reads along anyway? For so much work and effort squeezed into such little pockets of time, is it really worthwhile? There is so much on the table, and so little I can feasibly give myself to. Yet that very morning, God sent along some particular encouragement to keep going even if I can’t see where it is all headed.
You see, we do important work in our winters. There are some things in us that simply MUST overwinter before the fruit is born. We can’t rush the story. We can’t see now where our faithfulness in this present season will take us. We need to stop worrying about our destinations so much, and instead trust the process that will lead us there. Be faithful here, plan for spring, hope for blooms, but carry on into winter.
This past Saturday was a much better day. With the children, I planted a couple varieties of tulips, allium, and daffodils, along with some clematis plants a friend had given to us. We will be eager to see them in spring, and will think often of those little bulbs all snug in the frozen soil throughout the winter.
“Gardens are born in winter. Not only in fireside dreams, but also in the messy work of tending small pots on sunny windowsills. And in the harsh work of planting early seeds in cold soil…
I long to see the glory of God in this place, to taste it even, but for everything there is a season. These are still planting days. These are the early days of small beginnings. Days to sow, quite often in tears, hoping, believing, that we may one day reap in joy.”
Also, the maple pumpkin custard I made for dessert to celebrate the autumn equinox recipe was found here and it was easy and a big hit with everyone!