I spent most of Saturday outside. It looked nothing like spring, but I could feel it. By afternoon we had taken off our jackets and were warming ourselves with shovels and gardening gloves.

The firstborn and I cleared away some of the invasive (but gorgeous) vine that blankets the edge of our property.

Do you remember, I asked her, what the porcelain berries look like? Do you remember that china blue?

They looked fake, she says.

Which is true. And telling. The most beautiful things look unreal to us. Maybe they are a part of some other reality. Maybe we are too, for that matter.

The dead vines were papery and grey in our hands, but when I ripped one open we could see a shocking, acid green.

They only look dead, my daughter said with round eyes.

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autumn treasure

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We are in those last days of winter. Those days when the cold has moved deep into my bones, and I no longer believe in spring.

I mean this quite literally. Three days ago I had myself convinced that the bleached yellow shade of our lawn was a sign it would never turn green. We killed it, I thought. Too many weeds, too many autumn leaves, and we killed it.

Today, I noticed a spotty green haze. Just here and there. And I remembered: I have seen resurrection. There is such a thing.

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Elsa in dreamland

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 Six months ago, we named our daughter Elsa Spring. Soon – very soon – she will see her first spring. There are no words for all I feel about that.

Born in late summer, we named her Spring. Our last baby, our second daughter, she is yet everything new to us.

Before she was ever conceived “My beloved spoke and said to me, ‘Arise my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come …” (Song of Songs 2: 10-12).

For a hundred and one foolish reasons I had not allowed myself to want another child, but I knew what those words meant. I bought a tiny, pink sweater, and I hid it in my dresser drawer.

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Elsa in antique lace1

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Sometimes winter fools us. We are taken in by the surface of things, and death seems total and irreversible.

The truth is, we aren’t waiting for resurrection. We are living it.

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“On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem … in summer and in winter.”

Zechariah 14:8

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