Hoisting the big black plastic parcel over his back, he begins his trek. He moves, at a slow but purposeful pace, through the hallways, smiling and greeting fellow students as he goes. Daily, we take this journey back beyond the maintenance room doors and out through the garages to the bins to deposit the 45 gallon sack. Usually, we talk of the task and whether his bundle is heavy or light, but this day in February, as we look beyond the dumpster and see the frozen white fields stretching before us, we have no words. He smiles as he breaks the silence, “Spring is coming.” Gazing out at the stark, monochromatic view and feeling the bone-chilling cold of a northwest wind, absolutely nothing about the scene indicates that Spring is coming. Nothing. Yet, my young charge knows that the days will lengthen and the sun’s power will strengthen and the snow will melt and the ground thaw and Spring will come. He knows because the calendar says it will come. He knows because his mom and dad have promised him a turkey-hunting trip in the spring. He knows because in his seventeen years of life, it always comes. So, against all outward evidence, he knows and believes that the seasons will change.
I remember looking out that day at the same unforgiving landscape and squinting, trying hard to imagine the white ground carpeted in green and the solid earth, soft and warm and black. I, too, knew spring would come. It was just hard to believe.
That was February.
Last week, making our way along the familiar path, black bag over his shoulder, we saw it, both of us. The same view only now covered in growing grass and newly turned black dirt and blue skies and the sweet smell of a warm wind. Spring was here. After months of snow and cold and grey and dark, new life emerges: clean, fresh, filled with hope and promise.
Some of you reading this are in desperate need of Spring. You’ve lived in a season of frozen earth for so long, you’ve forgotten the smell of lilacs and fresh mown grass and southerly winds in your heart. Hope is distant. Belief difficult to muster. You look around and see bleek mid-winter. Will your season ever change? Will Spring ever come?
Take a deep breath.
Right now is not forever.
Whatever season you’re in?
Spring will come.
to be continued…