Everyone around here seems to have spent the last couple months and weeks waiting eagerly for the ice to break up. And by “everyone around here”, I mean us and our feathered neighbors.
The swans have been patiently spending their days here for almost two months now, two faithful white lumps out on the ice standing guard over their nesting grounds. The eagles began checking in next, periodically soaring in to keep tabs on the status of the frozen mass obscuring their fishing grounds. Then the geese arrived, honking in and out (far less devoted than the swans), and the ducks, squeezing in to paddle around the tiny puddles opening up along the edges.
And finally, just yesterday, the loons arrived with their wildly haunting calls. They never show up until there’s a long enough runway open for their lengthy takeoffs, so it this was the surest sign yet that ice out was imminent. Today, there’s a giant pancake of ice floating out on the lake, and around it’s edges, the waves are moving again for the first time since November. The wind is shifting it from one side to the other, slowly crushing, consolidating and wearing away at the ragged edges. I’m watching it recede before my eyes as the day wears on. In a day or two, or maybe even by morning, it will be gone.
I can feel the exuberance of the waterfowl in my own soul as I watch the lake come alive after it’s long winter’s sleep. I, too, have missed the twinkle of sunny waves through the shoreline trees, the soothing movement of the ripples reflecting the colors of the sky, the energy of the waves driving before the wind, and the smooth glimmer of its liquid mirror on still evenings. I think I am surely just as happy as they to know that the reward of our mutual long and hopeful wait is right around the corner.
But I wasn’t worried that it would come, because the promises of God are always true to those who wait for them. That goes for the change of seasons, as well as a lot of other things too numerous to list here now. It’s good to remind ourselves of that, especially right after Easter. The story isn’t finished yet!
“Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:28)