The lights and sparkle of Christmas have faded away, gifts have found a spot to stay in drawers and closets and cabinets, while the ornaments have been packed in boxes and bins. In our case, the Christmas tree is now decorating the yard–preserved green and frozen in the arctic air. And still, we face three more months of winter. The days are short and it's dark and cold when the first child wakes up in the morning.
This morning, as we gathered one by one in the kitchen, the day began as usual. Parents and older kids wrapped in bathrobes and blankets in the chilly air, trying to convince the younger children that socks and sweatshirts seem like a good idea while waiting for the fireplace to warm the house. Children eating cereal. Conversation and coffee and hoping that soon we'll feel more wide awake. Then something unusual happened. The door was opened to let the dog out, and the gust that invaded the kitchen was cold as expected, but it smelled . . . like Spring. Everyone sat up straight and sniffed the breeze. What a wonderful, amazing smell! It was like a midwinter's gift.
Going outside to stand on the icy, snow-covered deck, I stood with my face towards the sun–so sparkling bright on the snow I had to close my eyes. I kept standing there long enough that Grace opened her upstairs window to ask what I was doing.
What was I doing?
Thanking the Lord for this sunshine and the hint-of-springtime smell, and thinking. Thinking that everything in creation is here for a purpose, thinking of today's lesson for my soul. Trying to capture the gift.
Sunshine and dripping icicles.