I'm done...done with winter! I can make it through November and December because the holidays give me enough to make the cold worth it. But, by January... I'M OVER IT!!!
I look out at my sad little mums, just dead sticks all in a clump. The dead leaves lying there frozen under a blanket of cold humidity. You see, here we don't get the pretty snow to go along with the cold. We just get the cold. The humid, wet, cold! At least with a thick blanket of white snow there would be some sense of freshness...newness. But when all you have is the cold, the ground seems so hard, so dead. It seems like only yesterday that we were running around barefoot in the same grass that would now give me frostbite. How quickly the climate changes, whether we're ready or not.
I struggle during these winter days to feel energized. Instead, I feel empty. These are the days when, along with Mother Nature, my own heart feels dead. Everything seems frozen, and in the quiet of this season, my mind whispers questions to itself. How can new life spring from all of this?
But then I see my birds. Every year around this time, a group of Waxwings comes exploding in from nowhere. They swarm the holly bushes around my house scavenging every red berry they can find. They roost in the oak tree, but only for a day or so...and then they're gone. Some years I'm outside when I hear their familiar tweets. Other years my kids have come running in shouting, "Momma! Your birds are back!" But this year it was like they came just when I needed them most. I watch them and in the middle of this cold, hard "winter," I am reminded that this too will pass. Winter won't last forever. Isn't that what hope is? The thought that things will get better?
Just like my waxwings, hope moves in the coldest and darkest parts and then... just sings.
There are more cold days ahead for us, just as there are many more storms coming in our lives. But the waxwings keep showing up... along with hope. All we have to do is look for them.