The bleakness of long dark days, that wane into long dark cold nights has been interrupted–even changed.
From the boughs of spruce trees and the barren limbs of alders and cottonwood come the melodic tones of the songbirds, who having completed their long migrations from the southern hemisphere, have perched in my trees to welcome my mornings.
It’s another sign of the promise of a faithful God who promised that there would be seasons, and that seasons would change. For every Winter there is a Spring, and for every dark night there is a promise of new light, warmth, and fresh beginnings of a day full of new mercy.
The ground beneath my feet softens, changing from frozen earth to thin layers of mud that gradually become deeper layers of moisture and soil as the ice melts away. Puddles form on the surface of the lawn and the gravel driveways–waiting for the thaw that will absorb them into the ground.
Dormant seeds begin to feel the trickle of water washing in around them, and the gradual warming of the earth by the sun. These seeds will shiver and shed their outer shell in order to forge their path through the dirt as fresh sprouts in the days ahead.
More than the fragrance of fresh coffee in the morning, or the inviting smells of breakfast on the stove, the rays of sunshine in the early morning hours is the most welcome view, and I soak in its rays as it climbs up over the mountain landscape to perch in the sky. Every day it climbs a little higher than the last. Every evening it lingers just a few moments longer. My world is brighter by the day.
In mid-winter I forget what the song of the birds sounds like. The earth seems silenced and hushed then, and the darkness bids me to stay inside and keep warm as I can. But then there comes that morning–so unexpected when, before my alarm wakes me from sleep, I am roused to life by singing. They are back!
The songs of the birds tell me to dream again. They tell me that there are more birds to follow as the days grow brighter and the ground grows softer, so keep watching and listening. Their melodies recite again the promise that God is with me and that He has not forgotten.
22 “As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?