Perfectly Placed

I was going to tell you a funny little story this morning but I wanted to share with you something I remembered. I hope there is a reader out there today that needed reminded as well.

This morning out at the bus stop it was different. I wasn’t cold in my robe and rubber barn boots but I would get the occasional tiny raindrop on my glasses. The kids weren’t hunkering down in their winter coats and burying their hands in their pockets waiting uncomfortably for the bus. It’s like this every year about this time. I start to get hopeful and excited for Spring. However, I know in the back of my mind that we have inches of snow to receive and single digit numbers yet to be had. Beautiful days like yesterday and mornings like this however, can help you make it through the winter season.

I was telling the kids it wouldn’t be long until we stood out here in the mornings and we would see all the perennials that we have planted over the years, starting to make their way to the surface. Just to the right of where we stand on the end of our driveway is an area that used to be a flower bed, planted by someone else years ago. In the past couple years we have covered it with grass trying to tame our yard in the manner that we see fit and beautiful. I said to Sophia, “it won’t be long before that dag-gone hyacinth pops up in the middle of my grass”!. She’d laughed, knowing my frustration with this but the humor I find in it as well. It just won’t go away! Harrison stood there holding his Kroger bags full of snacks for his class and looking excited to be the leader for the day. He was a little more precious to me this morning as well in this Spring moment.

Moments later I was in the house resuming my mundane tasks including folding laundry, that was stacked up on the couch. I stood there looking out the window at my barren, lifeless yard. I could picture what it was going to look like months from now and wanted to see it today. NOW.

I love working in my yard. I plant what I want here and kill what I don’t want there and wrestle my yard all summer long for control. At the same time, I LOVE IT! I’m one of those people who walked around in my yard in the spring, every day and look for new growth and change that happens even as hours pass. I’m always especially anxious to see if my new bulbs made it through their first winter. I feel hopeful but also battle a sense of dreariness until I remember…… what is happening in the ground right now is important. Those beautiful plants and flowers can’t be what they are in the spring without a winter, a hibernation, a rest, growth, and storing up energy so they can be bigger and stronger and more resilient in the future.

I continued on with my folding with a sense of patience and appreciation for time and found some humor in my desire to control when and where everything in my life comes up. I couldn’t see it clearly at the time but I look back now at some of the winters of my life with appreciation. I learned things about myself, good and bad, and had a chance to grow and improve. I learned to find rest and deeper intimacy with friends and family in a way I never let myself become vulnerable enough before to enjoy. I had an overwhelming presence of my Creator, who gently held me and gave me strength in ways I can’t comprehend. I felt loved and guarded by Him like a prized jewel. Those gifts were my Spring like days that got me through winter. To everything there is a season and to rush one, hoping for the next, is not the plan. We must give and take and welcome change in every season so we can become who we are supposed to be.

That little hyacinth pops up in the middle of my yard, Perfectly Placed, as a reminder that I’m not the one in control but the one who gets to choose how I respond to where I am, right now, whether winter, spring, summer, or fall in my life. I think I will have Sophia help me in the Spring, when that hyacinth shows its first signs of coming up. We will spread a little mulch around its base and it be our favorite for sure.  I will make sure she understands the story of that hyacinth sooner than I did.

This print is a gift from my parents. This photograph doesn’t do it justice. The tiny details hidden throughout are truly beautiful. It is by our local artist, Judith Polan. The scripture reference is Ecclesiastes 3:1. It goes on to say “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” and “I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.”

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