Spring has come. Sunshine and rain take turns in the process of bringing everything to back to life. The tree outside our house is blooming in pinks and reds, and the grass required mowing yesterday. I ride my bike in a t-shirt and shorts again. Yes, spring has come and with it the annual rejoicing that the cold of winter has passed.
I have often told people that my spiritual life tends to follow the seasons. Spring and summer generally mark times of joy and growth, which fade into a time of reflection in the fall. Then comes winter, usually a time of refining and forging character, and at times a sort of dark night of the soul. Some would blame it on the weather. Either way, it is how things go with me.
My first year in Colorado Springs very much followed that pattern. The summer months before actually leaving Glenwood were some of the richest I have known. I delighted in time outside, in a job I loved, and in amazing relationships. The fall brought the natural reflection and beginning sadness of adjusting to a new place, with few friends and a new sort of schedule. In the winter, I had spine surgery and spent the following cold months recovering in more ways than one. The warming was a slow one after that, but it was steady. Spring came, and brought with it renewal and hope.
But the summer of my heart was a short one.
Sandwiched between a series of three deaths in a matter of few months, I faced one of the most painful and heart-deadening experiences I have ever walked through. I was hurt in a way deeper than I have known in many years, if ever. I was alone and slowly dying on the inside. By the end of the summer, and even into the fall and winter, it was all I could do to keep my head above water. There had been many joyful moments throughout the summer, yes--but it was most of all a dark, dark night of the soul.
My head is back above water finally, but I guess you could say my seasons are a little off. Still, I believe it's time for them to be changing. It's time for air that smells like rain, flowers in bloom, sunshine on my face. I have already heard peals of thunder threaten in the distance. The enemy desires to steal another summer from my heart. I pray for spring instead, for new growth and rejoicing. And then for summer.
Yes, Father. Let this year bring your summer to my soul.