I’m a (New) Jersey girl by upbringing, but have lived in many different places since then. (At last count, I’ve moved 22 times!) One of the places I lived for six years is Northern California. The weather there is phenomenal, but after a year or so I began to feel out of kilter. Kind of grumpy.
I missed seasons.
Oh, there were seasons in Northern California. It rained for a a few weeks on Spring. The native grasses turned brown in summer (the “golden” part of “Golden Gate”). Later in the year when I was biking to work in my light sweater I could tell it was winter when the grapefruits started to ripen on the neighbor’s tree.
But trees didn’t become a super nova of color in Autumn, their leaves stunning in colors of bright pumpkin orange, blazing yellow, and deep wine red. They didn’t fall to the ground in a royal carpet, and then become brittle parchments telling us “Winter is nearly here.”
I missed the cycle of seasons, with their messages of change — full-out life, decline and death, rest, and then renewal. Seasons that were reliable, predictable every year, yet always caught me by surprise when they showed up each year. Every daffodil becoming the first daffodil I’ve ever seen, my elderly eyes becoming the eyes of a child again.
It is Spring here in Western Pennsylvania. A late freeze killed all the blooming magnolia blossoms, but the daffs survived. And now the tulips are opening, and we’re putting in seeds for our annuals–zinnias, dahlias, cosmos. It’s warm enough to sit on the porch without a jacket. I’ve packed away all the winter hats and scarves.
Spring is here.
God has turned a page in the book of natural revelation, and we are starting a new chapter. It’s a beautiful book. The best book you’ll ever read. And it doesn’t cost a thing.
Happy reading, wherever you are, and whatever you see of God when you open your eyes to the world.
Kris Haig–artisan, teacher, spiritual director