Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Need for Absence

The old saying "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" doesn't always apply to troubled relationships. If you haven't watched an episode of I Love Lucy in several years, do so and you'll fall back in love with Lucille's Ball great humor and comedic timing. Bite into a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and remember why you preferred them to lunch meat. Did you take field trips to local tourist destinations back in the sixth grade? Revisit those old places, and now, as an adult, you'll have a better understanding of your town's culture or importance.

That is, if you can get there. It's snowing. Large flakes are swirling, drifting, floating lazily through the air. Fortunately, the ground is warm, so the snow is MIA (MeltIng on Arrival). From the blobs of greens, blues, and pinks covering the radar map at this writing, it's clear our northern neighbors are suffering far worse. I can only fathom the piles of snow bunched along roadsides in places around New England. Where just two months ago, people expressed their jubilation over the frosty decoration, now Tweets and Facebook statuses are filled with "Enough!" and "Ugh, I can't wait until February is over!"

I suspect I stand alone on this point, but I don't begrudge the long winter. It was a lesson in appreciating the warmth and beauty I'd begun to take for granted. After staring at dead vegetation through insulated windows for four months, the camellias nearly bursting from their buds and the tulips peeking through the ground bring a quiet joy, one I doubt I would have experienced if I hadn't contracted cabin fever. It also speaks of our hope in Christ. Once dead spiritually, those reconciled to the God of creation through Christ have been, like the emerging fauna, transformed, and we joyfully await new life.

I was reminded of all that by the snow fluttering around a trio of bright-yellow daffodils. Thanks to this long winter, I have a far better appreciation for spring, and for life.

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