Okay, I know it’s two days past the solistice on 21st December, but it’s not far from the shortest day.
I was out looking at the trees. The evergreens look much the same all year round, but the deciduous trees are appear lifeless, branches stripped as bare as bones. If we hadn’t witnessed every year of our lives, the miracle of buds and leaves appearing again in the spring, I think we’d all be convinced that these bare trees are dead.
The thought came to me that life can be a bit like these trees. On the surface, it looks like my life is stripped back. One of my kids got ill. I’m still supporting her recovery and that has meant stopping work and losing the chance to pursue personal goals.
Sometimes I’ve felt and still can feel that there isn’t much happening in my life. I’ve tried to get back to work, but so far my attempts have failed. Maybe there’s a grace in that. Perhaps the time wasn’t right and I would have been like a tree or a flower which buds too early and is blighted by the cold weather.
When I look at the bare trees, I know that beneath the surface lies a rich root system. Life is still there, even if it has shrunk back. The trees will bud and blossom again in the spring.
I’m trying to have faith that our own lives will expand again, that we’ll be able to blossom and become whatever God intends us to be.
There’s a rhythm to nature: autumn, winter, spring and summer, night and day, an in-breath and an out-breath. I’m impatient. I want summer to come, but even winter can be beautiful.