It’s cold. Not the mind-numbing, face-hurting, deep-freeze of the East, but nevertheless, cold. Below normal, they all tell me. Not usually like this, I am assured.
I get little comfort from their words.
When we moved to the “warmest city in Canada in the winter” (according to Environment Canada), we did so as winter refugees. We were among that band of poor, sad little people trailing in from the far reaches of the continent, hoping to find a land of milk and honey, or at least, of rain and greenery. “Bring us your frozen, your battle-weary, your shovel-laden”, they said, and so we came.
And it was good. January was a time when spring first raised its head, showing itself in green shoots of daffodils along the verge of the road. The warm wind from the Pacific would waft in and the smell of verdant earth hinted of things to come. Bird song filled the mornings – yes, in January – and the black birds called in the marshes of our little lake.
And our little lake – not frozen – but alive with flotillas of ducks.
Not so today – four days into January, when I was expecting a little respite, a little hope, at the very least, a faint zephyr of warm wind after an unseasonably cold December.
But hope died because today, it’s cold. I rise at dawn to replace the frozen hummingbird feeders with warm nectar (and yes, we do have year-round hummingbirds here). I hear their little clickings of encouragement from the depth of the towering trees as I trudge out in my dressing gown and thick sweater. Then, I top up the bird feeders on the deck and down in the yard. I break the ice around the small hole of bubbling water in the pond. I look out across the frozen inlet and then to the frozen lake beyond, and put out bread for the Mallard pair who have taken refuge in the inlet.
It’s cold and I don’t like it.
And then I remind myself that spring will come – maybe not as soon as I thought it would, but it will come, just as the sun always rises even after the darkest night.
It occurs to me that sometimes our Christian walk is the same. It’s not what we expected. Not what we think we were promised. Not comfortable, not easy, not fulfilling. But, there is always a turning point when the Creator leads us onto a new path, one that is all that we hoped. And in that new walk, we realize that the dark hours we spent were part of our growing process.
(The photo was taken last December during one of the rare snowfalls here.)
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