When the winter days are so terribly short in the first place, one is all the more grateful for the sunshine when it blazes. The last few days have been gloriously full of light, and I went out into it as often as I could, cutting new ski trails through the woods and hardly needing a coat, so warm I’d become between the exertion and the sunshine. It’s so easy to love winter when the fresh snow is sparkling and billowy, and the sun sets in a blaze of fire at the end of each day.
These are the kind of days where I can go out and be completely content taking photos of nothing but the shadows across the snow, mesmerized by the art created by such simple combinations of the trees and a low-blazing sun. It was a wonderland of artful graphic design, wind texture, trunk stripes and interlocking branch lace, painted across the sweeping canvas of sparkling unmarred snow. I hated to ruin any of it with a ski trail—but then there would always be an even more inspiring display of shadow around the next curve in the trail.But then there is today, when a warm snap is melting sad dirty spots in the plowed snow banks and the sky is one solid wash of nondescript gray. The light filtering foggily through those clouds is so diffused, there aren’t any shadows. This, I must admit, is not quite so inspiring. And it’s strange how easy it is to let one’s mood swing with it.
And then, I am reminded, in a funny sort of way, of what my eldest daughter said when she prayed before supper the other night:
“Dear Lord, thank you for chicken, and squash, and milk…and something that I don’t know what it is. Amen.”
My husband and I exchanged amused glances. There was no doubt that she was referring to the helping of cream sautéed cabbage I had spooned onto her plate just before we bowed our heads, at which she had wrinkled her nose uncertainly. In a familiar, happy world of bright orange buttercup squash with puddles of melting butter, cold glasses of milk and roasted chicken crusted with fragrant herbs, this limp pile of beige and brown was getting a low rating indeed.
But, to our surprise, she included it in her list of thank yous anyway. It was different and unappealing, but she said thank you. (Later, she was to find that her first impressions were all wrong, that cabbage sauteed in cream was actually really good.)
And I was convicted. Gray days and dirty snowbanks are perhaps as uninspiring to me as creamed cabbage is unappetizing to a 4-year-old—but do I say thank you for them as readily as she did? Do I trust that all the things my heavenly Father puts on my plate are for my good? Cabbage, gray skies…or otherwise? Do you?
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)