a time to plant, a time to reap.
It has been a long while since I’ve had the energy to sit down at keys and write. I’ve watched others pump out posts and felt the Drain. The Drain of social media, of keeping up, of liking this and that, the drain of winter.
Yesterday I noticed the green buds of spring poking through the dirt.
The season of singing.
But it’s only January.
How long do we hold on to the hope for new life, when the hollow ache threatens to scrape us bare? How long, when good news is replaced by bad new? One friend beats the tumour, while another sees the kind face of the hospice nurse caring for her husband, every precious, last day.
How long do we hold on? Until change comes, until the blind can see, until the lame walk, until the ache ceases, until hope replaces sorrow?
How long do we hold on to pain? Or rather, how do we let go of it, when pain is all we know? When it reminds us every morning that the season we are in is still lingering, still leaving moth holes and dust and cast away stones.
As any seasoned Downton Abbey fan will tell you, the show just gets you, jabs you when you least expect it. Suddenly, you see your chest heaving up and down as you watch Mary’s sharp edged face, pale as snow, hard as stone, receive a nugget of truth: you must choose life or death.
Simple enough, but when you’re choosing death, the reach to receive life is a physical feat. The opening episode of season 4, reveals Mary’s deep depression over the loss of her husband. Her grandmother’s revelation that she must choose life or choose death is a wake up call. Her feelings told her to keep treading water wearily, to keep forgoing motherhood and choosing black lamenting clothes.
We can choose death. We can say it aloud, and agree with the weight of it, under blankets and with wine laced lips. We can drown.
The Bible says there is a season for everything. The Byrds sing it too. I remember watching my grandmother’s slideshow at her funeral, the one depicting her beautiful life. The song that impacted me most was the happy clappy retro “Turn, turn, turn.” It felt out of place, those 60’s swirling guitars and daisy chains, and maybe that’s why it fit.
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together.
Sometimes it feels like all I know how to do is cast away stones and break down. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to gather, to rebuild, to dance. I’ve forgotten my own life.
It feels like God isn’t around anymore, good news is hard to come by, everyone is wallowing over less than difficult circumstances.
It feels. But I am not a feeler, I’m a believer. Easier to say than swallow.
I have to stop asking how long, and I pick up my feet, the ones that are mud caked heavy and I keep. on. going.
A time to plant, a time to reap, there is a season…turn, turn, turn.
Spring buds and daffodils won’t change the season of my heart. The sun will feel good on my back, and the garden will grow, but my heart is tended by another gardener, with another schedule. He carries His own basket of unknown bulbs, His own fertilizer that brings life to the weakest, withered leaves and His own water that changes a crypt into a birthing place with one sprinkle.
So I wait, but not for the seasons of this earth to bring me hope. For winter will always come. I am tired of anticipating winter, the dredge of rain and cold.