There is a time in the morning when the commotion of seeing my brave one off is a distant memory and the dishwasher whirs and the dogs circle and sigh as they flop onto a sun-streaked floor. It is when the sun hits the exact point in the sky that it’s rays reach down from heaven and wrap my entire being in warmth. This is when I allow my soul to be lulled into a quiet stillness and it is here where winter’s wrath lay before my eyes – war wounds lie gaping open for the world to see.

The march of storms and biting winds seem to laugh in my face and assure winter’s reign will never end. The earth’s weary groans are almost audible under the undeniable havoc that has been reeked.  Snapped branches litter the small swell that leads to her garden and grass is stained in what could very well be permanent hues of brown and gardens left unattended because fall left this soul exhausted plead for attention.  It is the tree that lands the final blow- the tree I painstakingly planted and was convinced would serve as the perfect harbor for nest and mama and baby is now lying on its side. On this day, winter’s wrath tested my patience so much so it took all restraint to not release a wild battle cry. For all that is the beauty of winter’s wonderland, my heart longs to be serenaded by a choir of birds as spring’s winds dance through the halls. In that moment, I understood her frustration- I could understand what was then her desperation.

You see she would burst out of bed, unable to contain her joy on the 1st day of spring. I am not sure if it was the anticipation of the precious babies that would be born or that Easter would soon arrive or that each day would linger longer. Maybe it was the worms she would gather as we planted gardens, the daffodils she would pluck or the nest she would follow from creation to flight.  I would delight in watching her emerge and discover and grow, for it is in this season that she, too, was born. And yet on that 1st day of spring she cried, weeping as she looked out a window to a snow covered lawn.  She was confident spring had forgotten to come and she could not take one more day of bone chilling cold. She sobbed thinking spring had missed it’s opportunity and all that she adored: the crocus and the robins, the puddles and petals that cascaded like a river dance from the blooming trees, would never again return. I assured her then and reminded on this morning- spring will come and we would count the ways and find the signs.

It is in this moment of desperately wanting to pound my fists and dissolve into the same puddle she once did, I am reminded to look beyond- to look beyond the desperation and disappointment and find the hope that is there. Hope is in plain sight, quietly waiting to be claimed. And just like that- there in the battlefield beyond my window, beyond the downed tree, the birds are dancing- the birds are pecking through the snow-covered earth and in the distance the echo of the morning doves coo serenades and buds abound peeking tentatively waiting for the moment where they will have no other choice than to cloth naked branches and break frozen earth.  They were there the whole time and I simply failed to recognize.  It is in this moment, as I once assured her, I am now assured. It is in this moment that I can almost hear her long deep sigh as she pushed her nose against the glass in search of a sign that spring did not forget or fail. It is there, in the space where the sun hits perfectly in that place I am reminded for everything is a time and a season and winter is no longer an assault but a grace making way for a spring which will emerge with a beauty that will surely delight.