I used to hate winter. I plodded through with a cold gloom over my soul. But life becomes more wondrous the older I get, and through my daughters' eyes, every season is magical. After the hustle of Christmas, we longed for the time to hibernate. We played marathon board games and sorted through scrapbook pictures and sewed doll clothes. I loved opening the heavy iron doors of our woodstove and piling another log on the red coals. We roasted marshmallows and hot dogs and the girls cheered in delight anytime a flake of snow fell from the sky. Then we shoveled that snow until our hands and feet were numb and we built wobbly snowmen. I watched the girls disappear into the woods when Fred took them on hiking adventures and made hot chocolate for their return. These cold months Liana learned to read and Arielle studied adverbs and decimals in our cozy cave of a classroom.
The birds came back from wherever they winter to roost again in the bamboo grove, pests that they are. Spring was late in coming, but even during an unexpected ice storm we heard the birds chattering among themselves and knew warm days were coming soon. We burned the last log and celebrated our first bowl of ice cream out on the deck. The pussywillow swelled and dropped its fuzzy bundles. We carried the furniture from the shed, and the balls and bikes came out. The girls now sit high up in their fort on top of the swingset for hours, or they play hopscotch on the chalk drawings in the driveway. School is now a chore to endure until they are released to run through the grassy yard.
In comforting predictability the seasons of the year cycle around. Not so the seasons of our lives. These days will never come again. In regret, I think of years not fully lived, discounted or dismissed. Years with my little boys that passed so quickly, never to be recaptured. Fred jokingly told our ancient cat, "This may be your last summer!" Some summer will be my last--and yours. Each season, each day, is a gift. Enjoy!
"So teach us to number our days, that we may present to you a heart of wisdom...let the favor of the Lord be upon us; and give permanence to the work of our hands." Psalm 90:12, 17.