the time of singing

19 03 2012

We moved in the middle of December.

Moved out of a house we loved for what it was and into a house we purchased for where it was.

We moved in the middle of December, and it was cold and damp, and winter met us everywhere. In leaden skies, bare branches, and unfamiliar rooms. In my mother’s eyes.

I didn’t know. Didn’t realize this brittle and brown was a weight. I didn’t know, because we were busy. Unpacking boxes, settling in, learning this place and its people. And, from the very start, there were so many good gifts. Gifts we received with gratitude. Gifts we counted daily.

The always good God had gone before, with, and behind us, and His mercies met us, new every morning. So I didn’t feel it. Didn’t realize I was carrying the weight of winter, until it began to lift.

This house we purchased for where it was began to grow on me for what it was, with its morning sun slanting through wide windows, its spacious kitchen and big yard and towering old trees. The rooms no longer felt foreign when I entered. They greeted me like acquaintances who were fast becoming friends. And something began to stir in me, a waking, and I could almost feel my roots reaching for this soil, ready to belong.

And then it exploded.

Spring with its sweet, warm breath and incorrigible color, and I can’t stop smiling at the wisteria vines on my parents’ roof — there since my childhood — dull and gray all winter, now dripping fragrant purple, trumpeting the wonder of rebirth. How does it manage to catch me off guard every year?

But the biggest joy has been watching the world right outside our windows come to life.

We moved in the middle of December, and we didn’t know what the gray weight of winter hid. Daffodils, roses, azaleas, and other flowering shrubs I can’t even name. A gnarly old peach tree in a corner of the back yard, now gloriously covered with bright pink blossoms. And right in front, beside our porch, the loveliest little cherry tree, with blushing flowers and rosy leaves, and really, Lord? We have a cherry tree? I had no idea.

And I’m the one blushing now. Blushing like a lover whose blindfold has come off and her Beloved’s extravagance embarrasses her. And He laughs His joy and calls, Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come . . .

My full heart says yes to Him. I will behold. And I will be held. Winter always passes. Never mind that spring will fade into summer’s withering heat, leading to fall and yet another winter. If I forget that we are an Easter people, the wisteria will surprise me into remembrance yet again.

And this blushing glory outside my window? This is His gentle kiss. A Lover’s gift.

The weight has lifted.

The time of singing has come.

* * *

Giving thanks in community for (#425 – 440)

cherry blossoms
color covering the gray
this website, a feast for the eyes!
growing to love our house
flowering promise of peaches, George’s favorite
company for dinner three days in a row
pumpkin gnocchi with butternut squash pasta sauce
juicy, ripe strawberries
Mom laughing so hard she couldn’t speak
beginning to belong
weddings and showers
babies and showers
assembling with the saints
chatting with neighbors
God providing in surprising ways



12 responses

19 03 2012
Sandra Heska King

We moved into our first home in December, a small brick rental with a pink garage door (and a resident bat.) The owner had been a botanist and come spring, the yard was filled with surprises.

These winter seasons are inevitable and sometimes seem to last forever, but spring always comes. Love to you, Jeanne. Singing with you.

19 03 2012

Those words from the Song of Songs have been healing balm during some dark winters when I thought I couldn’t handle one more day of gray. I remember the first spring after moving into one of our houses. I felt like my yard was a symphony of color–flowers, bushes, trees followed one another into bloom. Pure gift.

And, of your gifts, that gnocchi sounds heavenly. As does the sound of your mother’s laughter.

19 03 2012

Thanks for splashing me with God’s goodness today. I hope you don’t mind if I wade around a bit to get to know you. This looks like a refreshing place to dip into all good things.


19 03 2012

Oh, love “His gentle kiss” in all the beauty that appears after winter…lovely, Jeanne…so glad the house is not feeling like such a stranger any more…Blessings 🙂

19 03 2012
Linda Chontos

Your lyrical words just fill my heart Jeanne. Truly – you are such a gifted writer. We will be moving into our new home in a couple of weeks. It is spring, and I have longed to live in this beautiful place with the ancient oaks. I am so glad spring has come for you too (and oh the joy of a well established landscape!).

19 03 2012

You describe the coming of spring so vividly and with obvious love for the surprises God had in store for you. Thank you for your exuberance. (We also thank Him for his exuberance!) May your day be blessed with His light.

20 03 2012
Patricia Hunter (@PatriciaWHunter)

So very beautiful – every word picture and you!

20 03 2012

Wow, Jeanne, has God gifted you with words! 🙂 Spring has ‘sprung’ here in Maryland, as well. I, too, marvel, every year, as His Glory gets revealed in blossoms and blue skies and green grass and baby wildlife. What struck me most in your post, though, was this: “The always good God had gone before, with, and behind us, and His mercies met us, new every morning. So I didn’t feel it. Didn’t realize that I was carrying the weight of winter, until it began to lift.”

I was reminded of the many times that I haven’t “realized I was carrying the weight of _____ (fill in the blank)” because of His Faithfulness to carry me! Thank you for the chance to REMEMBER and thank Him again

24 03 2012
Simply Darlene

Spring has yet to explode here… we are in the midst of what the locals call Sprinter.

Such beauty here in both image and word.


27 03 2012

This just made me smile out loud.


27 03 2012

So lovely. What a beautiful testimony of God’s love. I am just smiling along with you and remembering when our first spring in the little old house gave me hope that God really did care about us. 🙂

31 03 2012
Deborah Carr

I simply love the word wisteria…don’t you? Even if it wasn’t the most glorious vine, I would appreciate it for the sound of its name.

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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