“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18
I have become increasingly whiny about the long winter here in Wisconsin, where our farm is still covered in snow. But my complaints don’t seem to be getting much sympathy.
One day, six year old Evan comes by with his blue sled, asking if he can try out our big hill (those are turkey tracks, not Evan’s, in the phot0). He is undeterred by the fact that it is mid-March, and he gets the afternoon of sledding he came for.
On another day, my husband Charles calls me on my cell. I can picture him standing in the slushy pasture in his eight layers of clothing. “I heard the Sandhill Crane,” he announces. “Too far up to see, but I could hear him for sure.”
Carrie, who cuts my hair, reminds me of the scorching day last August when she and I drove 40 miles to walk an outdoor labyrinth, then laid on our backs in the grassy center, staring up at the blue sky, as if we lived inside a Mary Oliver poem.
“Yes, I remember,” I am forced to confess.
And I keep getting this little Tom Waits song in my head, about how “You Can Never Hold Back Spring”.
The word Lent means “lengthening” and has nothing to do with religion, really. It refers to the broadening arc of the sun’s light that begins around Christmas and which ancient people, and people who still work outdoors, mark their days by.
Charles is one of them. He says the snow cover is not keeping things cold. In reality, it is insulating the soil, which is warming up from below, while the snow melts and percolates downward. One day soon, the sun will offer its resplendant glory and, in the twinkling of an eye, everything will be changed.
Wherever someone looks forward to a new season with hope, or back to a previous season with gratitude; wherever someone accepts the glorious present of the season we are living in now; wherever a few hands join and a few heads are bowed, Spring is coming, and there is no holding it back.