Perfect Timing

As I run the sidewalks of my neighborhood, I watch history repeat itself. I know which side of the street is best for running … some neighbors being more meticulous to keep their portion of the walk clear of debris … acorns, sticks, pines traw and cones. I know which yards have the bigger dogs that stick their noses right up to the top of the fence and could easily clear the hurdle, should they so choose. I know that my crossing Mr. Delgado’s drive will cause his alarm sensor to “ding-dong” like a doorbell and he will know that I am temporarily present. Seven and a half years of these side walks, streets and neighbors have been burned into my memory.

As I run, I know to expect new pine bark beneath the jungle gym and tire swing at the playground in February when the trees are bare … except the pines that keep Georgia partially green year round. I know that spring will bring brisk breezes and a welcome warming. Summer greens are fully lush. Humidity is high. My skin is supple from the moisture. I embrace running even when the sun rises to 80° or higher. Fall is colorful and crisp. Huge, round acorns will litter the sidewalk on King’s Chapel Road near the Avondale corner and in front of my friend, Carin’s home. And our winter will be short with deep intensity for only a small portion of time. We’ll dip below freezing some, but rarely lay as a city below a cloak of white.

Yesterday marked the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year and the first day of winter. I give her capitals because she is a monumental holiday. I celebrate her with joy. As the days shorten, I struggle. But this year has been easier than any other I remember in my adult life. I have continued to move and felt much less sluggish. In some ways, my recent freedom has been very good for my spirit.

I remember writing another year about the nearing of spring.  Year after year, I notice … always around the end of February or March when the days are longer, temps milder and sun brighter … that the trees blossoms are close to throwing themselves open in joy. The Dogwood and Tulip Trees are the two deciduous that catch my eye. They can’t be missed .. blooms balled  tight …. but full of anticipation that the day will soon arrive to throw glitter and golden dust into the air as the flowers announce the arrival of spring. They will dance in the spring arrival, leaves still tiny sprouts but flowers waving grand, reaching for the crisp, blue ceiling. The Tulip Trees will blossom and even shed before the Dogwood is quite ready, but back to back, they are the harbingers of spring in wearing bark and leaves rather than feathers.

But,
last week
as I ran my daily course,
I noticed ….
I saw …..
And I was surprised. 

These blossoms … blooms … tight buds
that I spy each spring ….
don’t wait until late January to form.
Even now … in December … they are ready
and waiting
to bless us with beauty and sing joy.
:: now ::

They have been ready for weeks … months even …. and will continue to wait …
formed and in position … but preparing for the day.
They will sit tight during the cold ahead.
They will wait through snow that might sprinkle
or during those days below freezing.
They are there … readying … preparing ….. as the days have inched shorter from June until now.
They have been in place …
but un-noticed …
at least by these eyes … by this spirit.

How can this be ….
that on the nearly-fifty spins on the axis of life
that I have neglected to see
the preparation and anticipation
waiting and ready … assembled and in position ….
until I was the one ready?
…. until I expected the joy?
…. until I  knew that the time was appropriate …
for life to cry out “beauty” … “joy” … “celebration!!”

I scratch my head in wonder.
I have my own expectations of the how and the when?
Maybe …
just maybe
this is the way I live my entire life?
The buds are tight and ready …
they are waiting to sing back to the heavens …
but I don’t even notice their existence
because I am not expecting to see movement just yet.
I.do.not.even.notice their presence!

I accept this new revelation … this spiritual/physical parallel as a reminder from Him
that I do, in fact, live my life blind
of the richness, joy and beauty that is to come,
but He has it all planned out
to be revealed in His perfect timing.

Like Jesus spoke in parables, paralleling the spiritual and physical worlds, God convicts and teaches me through similar daily events.
He has blossoms readying in the cold.
They may still yet find themselves
hidden by a
veil of white
before the winter melts away,
the spring breeze escorts in the warmth.

But, they are there …
… blessings that shout “JOY!”
… gifts that cry “Holy!”
…. presents that bawl “FOR YOU!!”

I know that I live blinded.
I know that He is right.
And maybe this might even be His plan …
for if I could see all that is to come,
I might be so distracted with the “upcoming”
that I miss “today” …
the lush greens of summer …
the harmony of autumn color …
the bare beauty of winter …
followed by the burst of fresh life in spring.

Yes, it all has a purpose. The pain and struggle, the weakening and strengthening, the birth and death, the joy and celebration. It all works together to give us a full, rich, beautiful experience on this spinning orb of azure and green.
Thank you, Lord, of the reminder that there are always blessings being prepared for me,
and I will see them, know them and enjoy them
in Your perfect timing.

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