Saturday, April 21, 2007
Spring in Minnesota
Spring has arrived. It hit something like 85 today.
The weather in Minnesota is completely schizophrenic. Really.
Only a couple weeks ago, it was snowing and really cold, such that on our regular morning walk, a man entering the park on his way to work stopped and congratulated me for faithfully being out there every morning, "freezing my tail off." He was apparently impressed. I just explained that my dogs had to "go" even if it was cold out.
Then it got nicer. For weeks, even before our last cold snap, I've been seeing robins, red-wing blackbirds, and last weekend I was lulled by the music of croaking frogs in a nearby marsh. Today I saw a blue heron in another part of town.
Just a couple days ago, I saw hints of new buds on some of the trees and bushes, and then passed a neighbor's courtyard to see two bushes in full bloom. They don't have leaves, but they sure do have flowers! (Or perhaps that bush actually blooms in yellow leaves?)
The lilac bush on the south side of my building has new leaves, and today I saw my first dandelion.
That seals it. Spring has arrived.
One of my neighbors has all sorts of outdoor decorations and loves to putter around in her little landscaped area. Each spring she puts out chimes, and I love the music they provide.
Tonight I stepped out with my dogs, enjoying the windy evening, the clear sky with the haloed moon, and the sound of the chimes ringing through the darkness. Something about early spring evenings, especially those like tonight place me into an introspective, contemplative mood and I want only to be out there, appreciating the earth God gave us.
I could not stop the psalm that rose from within while I let my dog sniff around:
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
2 Say to the LORD, "My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust."
God is truly present, he surrounds us, he hears our prayers, and he holds us so deeply in the palm of his hands, even when the dome of the sky is dark. We have to see that the darkness is not truly dark (Psalm 139), but rather, it is really representative of the comforting hand of the Lord cradling us so that we can safely sleep, trusting in His protection.