Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Winter of the Heart

Dear Christa—

I sit here on this first really cool autumn day, recovering from the first and, I hope, last head cold of the school year. The coolness reminds me—with the turning of leaves, the ripening of grapes and tomatoes, the jars of produce lined neatly in rows on basement shelves—that winter is not far behind.

Winter. Winter can seep into the heart.

I am no fan of winter. I dread the darkness of morning. I wince at the cold.

I am such a summer girl.

So, what is one to do when cold fingers reach for the heart?

One thing that seems to go hand-in-hand with canning season is that there is not time for canning and cleaning too. Boxes of mason jars line the dining room floor. Evidence of finished and unfinished canning is everywhere.

The carpets need vacuumed. The bathrooms just got a bare “once over.” Only the laundry is actually done. And, yet, something seems to take over me…the desire to neglect the immediate and prepare for winter. I find myself wondering what else can I put up.

Our daughter once said that we must prepare for our winters in the summer. I think she is right.

So, just as I set aside the immediate this autumn season of the year, I need to do the same in a spiritual sense. Is my relationship with God grounded enough to carry me through the winter of my heart? When the winter comes, the faith of another will be of little help. We must have the relationship ourselves. Although we live in community, we walk with God in a very single sense. If you haven’t realized that yet, the winters will prove it.

I love standing under the pergola when it smells all grapey. Yet, that smell also brings an urgency. They must be picked and processed. Soon these leaves will turn yellow and fall.
This cool autumn day is a reminder to me that ready or not, dreading or not—

Winter will come.

—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything