I’m back home, at my kitchen table, breakfast dishes around me and my little netbook. I look out the window, down the gently sloping, spring-green grass towards the neighbor’s farm. The redbud tree is blooming out, it’s black-damp bark soaked by the misty rain. The apple blossoms and lilacs have begun popping out while I was away. And the brand new bird feeder, set out just 2 weeks ago, is completely empty–thistle socks flapping in the breeze. The neighbor’s maple is now brown tipped, the deep red buds no longer giving a garnet-colored announcement of spring’s arrival, and my hickory tree has it’s first budded tips showing. The hostas have exploded up from the ground–they weren’t even peeking yet when I took the boys on our southward trip for a Spring Break Holy Week.
And the dandelions! My lawn, both front and back yard, are sprinkled haphazardly with the yellow bursts. They destine my yard to winning the “most-hated” in the neighborhood for our careless disregard of the dreaded weed-spreading parachute-jumping seeds. While I wish we had less of a problem with the dandy population, I am unwilling to treat it chemically. One- for respect of my neighbor farmer who grows beautiful, health-full, organic vegetables, fruits, eggs and meats. The natural flow of drainage from my yard would go directly to hers. Two-And I, in the midst of the wider surroundings of commercial corn and soybeans, refuse to add additional chemicals to my environment, where my children play and I live.
Spring is so slow in coming here. I notice this more and more each year. The natural rhythms of life, learned in my first 30 years of living in the South, seem to be derailed until I account for every degree of latitude as I have moved Northward. But still I expect to see crocus in early February and daffodils by March. But they don’t come here until much later. And it seems fitting this year, that Easter too came so late. Though it chases the moon around the calendar from year to year, it’s late arrival this year matches the coming of new life in the Midwest. There is much more spring to come, though our drive South last week spanned the season. The peek has passed in Georgia, and Summer is close on Spring’s heels.
Husband did not travel with us. His work kept him at home, where bronchitis kept him down without his family to remind him who he is. Youngest boy had wanted to stay home with Daddy, but I assured him that wouldn’t have been any fun. And oldest son cried for days about not getting to stay at the grandparents, and why did there have to be so many weeks of school still to go?
But for me, going home to the South, leaving my house in the Midwest, is welcome distraction. Sometimes we need to go back to those people and places who knew us when to recapture who were are. And sometimes we need to travel in order to feel alive and free (even when our parents can’t help being our parents in spite of our, and their, years). My boys still distracted me in church, and I missed much of the sermon, but it was a much better time than last Easter when circumstances had me so on edge, so distraught, that it hurt my heart just to be in church.
I am slowly allowing myself to shift my focus forward, listening and looking for the new path. The path that will lead to a new, or perhaps revived?, passion. A passion that will renew my sense of purpose and bring a redirected calling. A second stage, or is it a third? I have dreamed of what this will be like. It was a God-given dream, and I pray for more dreams to reveal God’s purpose for me. A dream to better define the me-shaped space God is preparing for me, and me for it. The space that will draw upon what I have learned and gained through these years of up-hill work and the need for grace, mercy and peace. Will it come like Spring, bursting forth in blooms and rapid passing storms? Or will it be more like Summer, sweltering with hot breath on my neck and an exciting fireworks show?
As my dear friend told me last week, “God is still rolling away stones.” And I am still awaiting that miracle in my life.
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