Well, it feels like no small miracle, but, we made it!!! Winter is officially over and gone, and to it I scream, "Good riddance!"
As I've been looking back and thinking about things I've written over the last few months, it seems so much of it has been in response to the weather, particularly the loathing of it. Winter is a hard hard time, it's true. There is a reason Shakespeare wrote that it was "winter of our discontent." But I must admit, it was only recently, this week, in fact, that I've come to understand the reason for so much emphasis on the cruelty and harshness of winter for me.
At one point in time, I don't remember if it was here on my blog or on facebook, but I mentioned loving fall despite it forewarning the "cold cold hell of winter." It is now that I understand the true nature of that metaphor. Hell-The place where one is completely separate from the presence of God.
With the exception perhaps of music, the place where I feel the most connected and closest to God is in nature. I need to be doing nothing but perhaps simply sitting outside, and I am content. Winter in South Dakota certainly does not allow this. For months on end, I am not allowed (nor is it wise) to simply sit outside and enjoy the beauty, power, and divinity of Creation. For months on end, it seems, the presence (which is deemed by many to be "life-giving") is stripped away from me and I am left where there is weeping and chattering of teeth.
But, somehow, the miracle has happened. The water has been changed into wine. Signs of redemption reach out and pull me from that vast darkness that is winter. I am able to move from the depths of sheol to the parkbench in the sun, which is steadily regaining his strength and providing me with much needed warmth. Once again, I am able to wander out of doors in the presence of the creator. Once again, I can live and breath and have my being. Once again, I see the beginnings of life.